Protests Against Fraudulent Elections in Belarus as Emancipation of the Parallel Civil Society
In the authoritarian regimes dissident social activists are not recognized as agents who are capable of participating in decision- and law-making processes. In addition to the factual deprivation of political rights, representatives of the dissident social movements experience cultural deprivation of esteem from the entire society, since the majority of people in authoritarian regimes as a rule do not intend to protest against authoritarianism, perceiving the social order as legitimate and, consequently, the struggle against authoritarianism as illegitimate. As the result of such rigid conditions, social activists are experiencing pressure both from the state and from fellow-citizens who do not recognize them as actors struggling for the ‘common good’. Therefore, it is possible to claim that in authoritarian regimes social movements are not embedded into the broader civil society, but represent rather a parallel civil society, which possesses its own identity and source of emancipation. This claim was confirmed by findings of my research, which was conducted from a sample of social activists with application of the Biographical-Narrative Interpretive Method (BNIM). BNIM was applied for the purpose of reconstructing ethically-oriented recognition and instrumentally-oriented redistribution dimensions of the social struggle in the context of Belarusian consolidated authoritarianism.
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