Belarusan society’s solidarity potential

The Center for European Transformation (CET) and the Belarusian Institute for Strategic Studies (BISS) present a research results report of the Belarusan society’s solidarity potential. The research was initiated by Belarusan human rights defending organizations: Barys Zvozskau Belarusian Human Rights House, Human Rights Center “Viasna”, Belarusian Helsinki Committee, Legal Transformation Center (Lawtrend), Committee for the Protection of the Repressed “Salidarnasts”, Belarusian Association of Journalists, and Assembly of Democratic NGOs in Belarus.

The research is a continuation and development of the research of the Belarusian organized civil society’s solidarity potential (NGO sector, “third sector”) carried out in 2014. The goal of this research is to evaluate and to substantially interpret the potential of public-political solidarity in Belarusian society.

At the first stage, which was implemented in September 2013 — June 2014, the object of our research was not all all Belarusian society, but only the part that can be considered the nucleus of solidarity displays, which can set the beginning of social movements, i.e. organized civil society (the NGOs sector, the “third sector”). The issue of solidarity within this public segment constitutes a specific statement of the problem. Therefore, before looking for the foundation of solidarity in the Belarusian society as a whole, the authors turned to the analysis of separate segments with a question whether a formal affiliation to the “third sector” provides the potential for solidarity or not. The study identified and analyzed the “dividing lines” and bases of segmentation in the “third sector”, which do not allow to take all civil society as a unity, in terms of opportunities to show solidarity in relation to the problems and issues that are inherently area of ​​interest civil society. Besides identifying the solidarity’s types, that can be counted among the organized civil society organizations (CSOs), the results of the study allowed to have a fresh look at the phenomenon of the “third sector” in Belarus as such, to indicate current stage of its development, to delineate the limits of the defined logic of this development .

At the second stage (January-October 2015), the researchers studied Belarusan society as a whole, correcting only some details in the toolkit of the research, taking into account the change of the object of research. The preservation of the conceptual bases and the research technique allowed to analyze the solidarity potential in the Belarusian society and to carry out a comparative analysis of the results of these two stages.

The research was implemented in January-October 2015 (the field stage — in May-June 2015).

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