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Belarus Does Not Exist

28. september 2023 kl. 16.00 - 19.00 CEST

Belarus Research Network for Neighbourhood Policy is organising a conference in Copenhagen to discuss the current security situation in the Baltic Sea Region and its implications for Nordic-Baltics states. Six scholars in the field of social sciences and humanities will share their views on the past, present and future relations of Belarus with its European neighbours. 


16.00-16.15 Conference opening by Jon Reinhardt-Larsen, Research Assistant at the Institute of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies and keynote by Charlotte Flindt Pedersen, Director of Danish Foreign Policy Society

16.15-16.30 Keynote speech by Dr. sc. pol. Karlis Bukovskis, Director of Latvian Institute for International Affairs, Assistant Professor at the Faculty of European Studies of the Riga Stradins University.

Dr. Karlis BUKOVSKIS is the Director of the Latvian Institute of International Affairs and an
Assistant Professor at Riga Stradins University. He is the author of numerous articles and the scientific editor of several books. Bukovskis was a visiting Fulbright Scholar at the Johns Hopkins University SAIS in 2021 and an Associate Researcher at the European Council on Foreign Relations from 2017-2021. He has studied at the University of Trier, and he acquired master’s degrees from the University of Latvia and the University of Helsinki, as well as a doctoral degree (Dr. sc. pol.) in International Politics from Riga Stradins University. Bukovskis has dealt with future of the EU and issues regarding the EMU at the Latvian ministries of foreign affairs and finance, and he developed the six-month work program of the Latvian Presidency of the Council of the EU. Bukovskis also produces and co-hosts a program on Latvian Radio 1 in which he analyses the political economy of various world countries. Main research interests of Bukovskis are European Union issues and International Political Economy.

16.30-16.45 Dr. Victor Shadurski, Institute of International Studies of the University of Wroclaw, researcher of the Gerda Henkel Foundation: Baltic and Nordic studies in Belarus. Past, present and future.

Dr. Victor Shadurski is the former Dean and Professor of the Faculty of International Relations of the Belarusian State University. Due to his scientific and civic position, he was dismissed from the university, in March 2021, where he studied and worked since graduating from high school. After thedismissal, Victor worked as a visiting professor at universities in Germany and Poland and actively participated in The Baltic University Program. His main research interest is the study of the nature of authoritarianism, its driving forces, and prospects in the case of Belarus. He also works in the theory and history of international relations, foreign and domestic policy of Belarus and the cultural foreign policy of European countries. Victor is the author of more than 200 scientific publications.

16.45-17.00 Dr. Pavel Tereshkovich, coordinator of Belarusian Association of Education and Science (BAES): Belarus. Language, identity, the state, and a farewell to illusions

Dr. Pavel Tereshkovich, historian and cultural anthropologist. Currently, Chairman, Commission for education and science, Coordination Council of Belarus. Former Head of Department of Ethnology (Belarusian State University), Department of History (European Humanities University).

17.00-17.15 Dr. Siarhei Mazol, coordinator of the project “Corporate Governance in Belarus”: Belarus against the post-Soviet empire and dictatorship: Was there a better scenario for us after 2020?

Dr. Siarhei Mazol is a Belarusian economist, visiting researcher at Stockholm Institute for
Transitional Economics, coordinator of the project “Corporate Governance in Belarus”. He left Belarus after the political crisis and settled in Irpin’, Ukraine. He was there and witnessed the outbreak of the full-scale Russian war against Ukraine. He currently lives in Poland.

17.15-17.30 Elizabete Vizgunova-Vikmane, PhD candidate, Latvian Institute for International Affairs: The Wagner rebellion that wasn’t. A view from Riga on Lukashenka’s PR victory

Elizabete Vizgunova-Vikmane is a researcher at the Latvian Institute of International Affairs and a journalist at TVNET Group. She is currently pursuing her PhD at Rīga Stradiņš University, where she is also a visiting lecturer. Since June 2022, she is the coordinator of the Belarus Research Network for Neighborhood Policy.

17.30-17:45 Dr. Tatsiana Astrouskaya, Tandem-Postdoc “Digital History”, Herder-Institut für historische Ostmitteleuropaforschung -Institut der Leibniz-Gemeinschaft: Will the World Save Us? The Cultural Roots of Political Opposition in Belarus

Dr. Tatsiana Astrouskaya is a postdoctoral researcher at the Herder Institute for Historical Research on East Central Europe in Marburg and a lecturer of Digital History at the University of Giessen. She received her Ph.D. in East European history from the University of Greifswald in 2018. Among her research interests are the cultural and intellectual history of Eastern Europe, the history of Soviet Jewry, policies and practices of digitalization, memory politics. She is the author of Cultural Dissent in Soviet Belarus (1968-1988) (Harrassowitz 2019, Viasna 2022, NLO 2024 – International Congress of Belarusian Studies Best Monograph in History 2022 Award) and a number of articles, including Belarusian Underground Culture (in Oxford Handbook of Soviet Underground Culture, 2023), Currently, she is working on a second book project on Jewish Emigration and the Challenges of Socialist Modernity in the Soviet Peripheries.

17:45-18:00 Dr. Roza Turarbekova, independent political expert: Can China replace the EU as a “second pillar” of Belarusian foreign policy after 2020?

Dr Roza Turarbekava, PhD in History, Associate Professor and lecturer of conflict and regional studies at the Faculty of International Relations of Belarusian State University from 1999 to 2022. Specialises on Belarus-Russia relations and the Union state, Central Asia, China. Was fired from BSU for her political views and activism in the independent university trade union. Had to flee Belarus after the start of the full-scale Russian war against Ukraine. Leaves in exile, is a frequest commentator and analyst in the independent Belarusian and international media on the situation inside and surrounding Belarus.

18.00-18.30 Q&A

18.30-19.00 Summing up and future cooperation


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Sønder Campus Room 15a.0.13.
Njalsgade 80
København S, 2300 Danmark
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