Sofie Bedford

Clowns, Trouble Makers or Freedom Fighters?
Understanding ‘Opposition’ in Authoritarian States

This is a summary of my presentation at the IWM Visiting Fellows conference in which I strived to problematize ‘opposition’ and its role in authoritarian regimes. My talk highlighted how in the case of Belarus the concept of opposition is misunderstood and misguides the understanding of political processes. Looking at state, public, and oppositional discourses I showed how they are all reinforcing the image of opposition as ‘failed’ which I argued contributes to the consolidation of the Belarusian authoritarian regime.
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