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The series published an average of one volume per year over the last 5 years.
Belarusian Politics and Society (BPAS) is a curated web archive created under the auspices of the Ivy Plus Library Confederation to preserve online grassroots content created in, or related to, Belarus since 2020. The article describes the historical context of the creation of BPAS (focusing on the events in Belarus in 2020–2022 and particularly, the role of online media) and the web archiving context (by exploring Internet Archive’s coverage of Belarus) as well as demonstrates how both contexts guided the curatorial work on BPAS and the decision to focus the scope of collection on fragile grassroots content. Special attention is given to the issue of content loss and content shift in the Belarusian internet.
This article charts the trajectory of Putin’s economic policy. All countries face the challenge of preserving national interests and identity while reaping the benefits of global economic integration. These pressures are particularly acute in the case of Russia, given its historical legacy as a global superpower. From the outset, Putin’s pragmatic embrace of global integration and market incentives was in tension with his authoritarian centralization of power at home and hostility towards the West abroad. Up until 2008, Putin was able to keep these two conflicting worldviews, and rival policy teams, in balance. But after 2012, geopolitical confrontation won out over economic development, culminating in the reckless invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.
This article examines the issue of Putin’s presidential successor from a historical perspective of long-term political cycles. Contemporary Russia still shows considerable similarities to the polities, characteristic of old agrarian empires in Asia. Based on the thesis on the origins of the monocentric political system in Russia, our article analyses how the transition of presidential power takes place in Russia, who might be the next president of Russia and whether we will see a new ‘time of troubles’, or smuta, after Putin’s departure. A generational change in Putin’s elite cohort will require a specific candidate to ensure a successful transition as a long-term solution. This will involve balancing clashing interests between key informal power networks. In all likelihood, a repeat of a political cycle of empires will happen in Russia again, resulting in a continued consolidation of its monocentric political system.
Russia’s need to modernize in order both to provide for its peoples and deliver on the ambitions of its rulers are perennial. The articles in this special edition speak to the difficulties that Russia has in modernizing and the hybridity that it demonstrates as modernization and economic development have been shaped by compromise and historical legacies. This introductory article introduces some of these themes by looking at how Russia has reproduced forms of what are called ‘regime-supporting economy’, forms of economy that generate resources to support particular political configurations in power whilst limiting resource accumulation, redistribution and institution-building that can deal with all of the tasks that face the Russian state.