Protest, Revolution, Belarus

13 Aug 2020

(Moscow-on-Thames blog) We should always retain the capacity to be surprised.

I am not an expert on Belarus. I have done precious little research there, have few contacts and no insider knowledge. I am, then, watching the scenes of protest very much like many others for whom the country has been on the periphery of our attention: with rapt bewilderment.

I’m here to tell you that bewilderment is a good thing. That’s not only because a good surprise now and again makes life more exciting. It’s also because if you want to study protest — which is what I like to think I do for a living — if you’re not surprised, you’re not paying attention. (This post is about to get kind of academic; don’t say I didn’t warn you.)

Belarus is far from being the most researched country in the world, but that’s not to say we don’t know a fair amount about it. [...]

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