Public initiatives and state policies – a post-Soviet comparison

Project coordination: Dr. Nadja Douglas

Protesters in Belarus carry a banner that reads: »Who's the real parasite? The President!«. © Anastasija Vasil'chuk, #controlBY.

The research project "Public initiatives and state polices - a post-Soviet comparison" focuses on monitoring and reform efforts of public actors in the interaction with state policies and political decision-makers in the post-Soviet space. In times of accelerated social change, there are growing demands for transparency, accountability and participation, among others in post-Soviet countries. The study builds upon research in the field of "public and societal control" and seeks to link it to insights from social movement studies. The concept of "contentious politics" (McAdam, Tarrow and Tilly 2001) provides a theoretical lens for the analysis of contestation and mutual influence between civic activists and state structures and policies in the context of the post-Soviet period and region. The focus will be on the analysis of recent controversial legislation. The analysis will be based on three case studies from structurally different post-Soviet countries. The project aims to deepen our understanding of social and grassroots movements that have emerged in recent years.

Electric Yerevan: the announcement of electricity price hikes sparked mass protests in Armenia in 2015. © Karena Avedissian.