Osäkerhetens politik i praktiken: Presidentvalet 2020 som förändrade Belarus


  • Sofie Bedford Uppsala universitet, Sverige
DOI: https://doi.org/10.23865/noros.v35.2653


Abstract: ‘The Politics of Uncertainty’ in Practice: The 2020 Presidential Election that Changed Belarus
Up until 2020 Aleksandr Lukashenka’s authoritarian regime had ruled Belarus for 26 years without major challenges. Thus, the popular mobilization that took shape in connection with the August 2020 presidential election came as a surprise. It was not the first time that elections in Belarus were not fair – but it was the first time that large sectors of the population reacted openly. Six months later, Belarusians all over the country were still contesting the falsified results. What contributed to this mobilization and politicization of a previously largely apolitical society? Why does that development represent such a serious threat to the authoritarian system? This study sees the Belarusian presidential election and its aftermath as illustrating the ‘politics of uncertainty’ of electoral authoritarian regimes. Because of the intrinsic insecurity of authoritarian systems, all regular elections in that context entail risks, which in theory might lead to change. In Belarus, the emergence of latent threats to the regime’s legitimacy in the form of social cleavages and an economic crisis, combined with the fundamental dynamics of the ‘election game’, amplified this instability. The election served as the starting point for a process of transformation that became the most serious threat ever faced by the Lukashenka regime.

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Sofie Bedford, Uppsala universitet, Sverige

IRES Institutet för Ryssland och Eurasienstudier



Hvordan sitere

Bedford, S. (2021). Osäkerhetens politik i praktiken: Presidentvalet 2020 som förändrade Belarus. Nordisk Østforum, 35, 36–59. https://doi.org/10.23865/noros.v35.2653





Belarus,, politics of uncertainty, mobilization, electoral authoritarianism, political apathy