IISEPS News – ISSN 1822-5535 (Printing), ISSN 1822-5543 (ONLINE),
N 1 (43), 2007



IISEPS is 15!


Happy New Year!
Unobserved jubilee
Yet the tendency
Regarding collective capital
Oil & gas war: “tie in the battle”
Integration breakthrough
Social interference
What economics do belarusians need?
Majority is against “contractual system for whole country”
Winners and losers
Results of the opinion poll conducted in January of 2007

“Belarus and “Wide Europe”: Problems and Perspectives” (scientific-practical conference)


Prof. Petko Ganchev
Republic of Belarus as the middle link between the European Union and the Eurasian economic Union


Dr. Astrid Sahm
“Presidential election in Belarus: from limited democracy to unlimited authoritarianism”
Konstantin Skuratovich, RhD
“Politicking vs. politics”


Dear readers!


We offer to your attention the next issue of the “IISEPS News” bulletin presenting the materials which reflect the most important findings of the IISEPS studies in the first quarter of 2007.
Oil and gas conflict between Minsk and Moscow (which many experts called oil and gas war) has become a foremost event of this period and the near future (and may be even of the distant future). Aftereffects of this conflict show up not only in socio-economic field or in domestic policy but in the foreign policy as well. January election to Local Councils, attempts to establish dialogue with Europe, new wave of repressions against the opposition and strengthened control over informational field, all these and many other events sink in the oil and gas conflict.
Perhaps, the most discernible changes that took place in mass consciousness following these events were the feeling of anxiety (often latent) quite contradicting to the customary model of Belarusian stability (for example, attitude to mass conversion of the country to contractual system of labor) as well as further decline of pro-Russian attitudes among Belarusians. But the latter is not accompanied with growth of pro-European attitudes while isolationist ones are going sharply up. Of course, it is too early to pin great hopes on these changes in the mass consciousness. As the analysis of public attitudes to 15th anniversary of USSR and communism collapse shows, this historic event wasn’t a long-awaited deliverance for millions of Belarusians unlike for the majority of population in Central and Eastern Europe.
As usual, we present sociological data, i.e. the so-called count-up tables, in the light of basic socio-demographic characteristics as well as the trends of change in Belarusian public opinion to those of our readers who prefer pure figures to analytics and look for independent analysis.
Almost at one time with Republic of Belarus, the IISEPS celebrated its 15th anniversary. In February of 2007, National Conference “Belarus and “Wide Europe”: Problems and Perspectives” was conducted at Minsk International Education Centre (IBB) by the TACIS Office and Prof. Manaev’s Group. It concluded Institute’s great project and was dedicated to Institute’s anniversary. Our readers have already been introduced to papers presented at regional seminars in Brest, Vitebsk, Gomel, Mogilev and Grodno, the authors of which also took part in this anniversary Conference. The book “Belarus and “Wide Europe”: Quest for Geo-political Self-identification” summing up the results of this large-scale project of IISEPS will come out in May.
This time our “Open Forum” has been given to an unordinary guest – Prof. Petko Ganchev, Doctor of Philosophy and Political Science, who Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary represents Bulgaria – an EU member from January 1, 2007. We are certain that his opinions on European prospects for Belarus will be of great interest to our readers.
On the “Bookshelf”, our colleague from the University of Mannheim Dr. Astrid Sahm presents a new IISEPS book “Presidential Election in Belarus: from Limited Democracy to Unlimited Authoritarianism (1994-2006)” and a well-known expert Dr. Konstantin Skuratovich reviews the book “Entire Belarus” by noted journalists A. and M. Guliaev’s.
All comments and feedbacks are as usual welcome!