Human Capital: Leave Cannot Stay – Digest of Belarus Analytics

Belarusian experts discuss migration, philosophy of barricades and coexistence, urban development and the readiness of the official Minsk to start another cycle of the Belarusian-European relations among other issues. 

Human Capital: Leave Cannot Stay – BISS paper examines migration and immigration attitudes of Belarusians in the light of sociology. The study is based on the results of a fresh national survey (December 2012 – January 2013). One of the preliminary findings does not prove an assumption that most Belarusians want to leave the country – this figure is comparable to 2009. At the same time disproportionate big number of those who wish to leave Belarus for permanent residence are people with higher education (mainly specialists in economics), and of high social status.

From Philosophy of Barricades – To Philosophy of Coexistence – sociologist Oleg Manaev in his interview for tells about the nature and focus of the complex processes taking place in the Belarusian media. In particular, Manaev considers that division of Belarusian nation into two groups with different values and understanding of reality is historical and is unlikely to disappear any time soon.  Nevertheless, “we need to transition from the philosophy of barricades to the philosophy of coexistence with each other. After all, we are one nation – Belarusians”.

Compaction in a Black Way – Denis Kobrusev, European perspective NGO, provides in-depth analysis, how a scheme of compaction and urban conflicts occur in Minsk: how developers find a necessary piece of land, how the area is trimmed and what is being done to ensure that citizens are legitimately unable to protect their own interests. The author illustrates his arguments by specific fresh case studies of buildings in Minsk.

2012 Results: Andrei Pachobut is an Absolute Civil Society Champion – the Assembly of NGOs summarised the results of the CSOs awards ceremonies held in the year 2012 and found out that Andrei Pachobut, a journalist from Hrodna, became an absolute civil society leader. He was named the journalist/civil activist of the year five times: the Young Front, the Assembly of NGOs, the Svetlana Naumova’s, Human Rights Alliance’s and the newspaper’s “NashaNiva” awards.

The Conservative Revolution: Breakthrough to the Past – Alexander Adamyants, Center for European Studies, continues to debate between liberals and conservatives. In his article, the author presents the dispute as a competition of ideas about the present and future of Belarus. The expert believes that the current conservative futurism is a breakthrough in the past, in a bygone era which has only of historical-philosophical sense, but nothing more.

Civil Society in Post-Soviet Europe: Seven Rules for Donors – The west's contribution to building more democratic and open societies in the post-Soviet region leaves much scope for improvement. Orysia Lutsevych at Chatham House draws lessons and offers recommendations – pillars – to both public and private donors. Namely, the author suggests make citizens "actors for change" not "consumers of democracy assistance".

Position Paper on European Dialogue on Modernisation with Belarus – the Coordinative Council of the Belarusian National Platform has produced a position paper on the European Dialogue on Modernisation with Belarus. In their paper the authors express their position on the current status, problems and prospects of the Dialogue. They reaffirm their full support for the Dialogue, but draw attention to the need to make changes.

Nashe Mnenije – 10 years. Expertise as a Cure for Boredom – in 2012 an online project of the Belarusian expert community Nashe mnenije celebrates 10 years. The authors of the portal discuss the most important events in the history of the project. They also talk about the features of the Belarusian expert community. In particular, the experts believe that there are no more than 300 publicly employed analysts in Belarus, including New Europe and other editions, as well as such institutions as Political sphere, BISS, BEROC, etc.

BISS Trends #12 – BISS presents the 12th issue of the BISS-Trends quarterly monitoring of main trends in political, economic, legal, geopolitical and cultural spheres.  From now on, semiannual BISS-Trends together with monthly BISS-Timeline issues will replace the BISS-Trends quarterly format. In the fourth quarter of 2012, the experts noted the continuing stagnation or regression as regards virtually all the trends considered. Social and political life was only slightly enlivened by the parliamentary elections, and stagnation continues here.

ABC. Political Review # 1, 2013 – Analytical Belarusian Center presents its first Political Review in 2013. The paper examines proposals on changes in the electoral law; the process of coalition building of the opposition forces; and the readiness of the official Minsk to start another cycle of the Belarusian-European relations.

Improving the Situation in the World. What is Important for Belarusian Women? – In January, the United Nations launched a global survey "My World", where everyone can choose what she/he thinks the most important for a better world. Six priorities of Belarusian women looks like as follows: better health care, honest and effective government, protection from crime and violence, affordable and quality education, protection of forests, rivers and oceans, non-discrimination and harassment. The first four priorities coincide with the global one.

Belarus Digest prepared this overview on the basis of materials provided by Pact. This digest attempts to give a richer picture of the recent political and civil society events in Belarus. It often goes beyond the hot stories already available in English-language media.