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Aliaksei Kazharski: "Authoritarian Spectacles and Vulnerabilities of Interdependence" (Policy Research Brief)

Aliaksei Kazharski: "Authoritarian Spectacles and Vulnerabilities of Interdependence" (Policy Research Brief)
Against the background of Russia’s war against Ukraine, the engineered migration crisis on the European Union (EU)-Belarus borders became much less visible. Yet, subversive activity also carried on as the Polish border guard continued to report having turned back dozens of people from Africa and Asia trying to cross the border into the EU. This weaponisation of migration undertaken by the regime in Belarus should be understood in a much broader context and placed alongside other authoritarian strategies, capitalising on various vulnerabilities. In this sense, it is not dissimilar, for example, from Moscow‘s tactic of threatening the world with a global food crisis with the interruption of grain supplies from Ukraine. Dictatorial regimes use these vulnerabilities and, coupled with the power of the modern media, stage morbid and terrifying shows for a global audience. These authoritarian spectacles are meant to emotionally sway the public, weaken elected governments, and blackmail democratic societies into compliance with authoritarian goals. This analysis will focus on the examination of how authoritarian regimes exploit the various vulnerabilities of the contemporary world, with particular attention to energy and food interdependence, ‘whataboutisms’, and the Belarus-Poland border crisis.
 

Dr Aliaksei Kazharski is a researcher and lecturer at Charles University (Prague, Czech Republic) and Comenius University (Bratislava, Slovakia). He received his Ph.D. in European studies and policies from Comenius University in 2015. He has worked as a visiting researcher at the universities of Oslo (Norway), Vienna (Austria), Tartu (Estonia), Malmö (Sweden), the Polish Academy of Sciences, and the Institute of Human Sciences (IWM) in Vienna. Since 2019 he has also been a Visegrád Insight fellow. He is the author of Eurasian Integration and the Russian World. Regionalism as an Identitary Enterprise (CEUPress, 2019) and Central Europe Thirty Years After. A Return to the Margin? (Lexington Books, 2022). Twitter: @mysliar

Policy Research Brief: January 2023

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Policy Research Brief - January 2023