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The Post-Soviet States as Objects of External "Soft Power" Influence: the Example of the Republic of Belarus
Abstract.The object of the present study is influence of foreign soft power on the Republic of Belarus (RB) as one of the States of the former Soviet Union. The subject of the study is unique features of the strategies of RB's involvement into the area of their "soft power" influence by such intra- and extra-regional actors of the former Soviet Union as Russia and the European Union (particularly Poland and Lithuania). The author analyzes the peculiarities of projects of the above-mentioned countries (a group of countries) on Belarus’ value and ideology involvement into the orbit of their "soft-power" influence; and subsequently characterizes the tools of such influence. The study uses methods of general logic and methods of international relations science such as historical and comparative. The author also uses method of statistical data procession. The novelty of the study lies in definition of the civilizational and ideological prerequisites for the RB's involvement into the orbit of foreign "soft-power" influence, as well as in identification of the reasons for Russian "soft power" inefficiency with respect to the Belarusian direction, and a certain mechanism for its correction is proposed. The author comes to the conclusion that Belarus is currently in the midst of Russian-European "soft-power" rivalry in a broad sense of the term. However, such a national "soft-power" influence as, for example, by Poland is not congruent with the European one in content and objectives, but represents a separate phenomenon that Russia should take into account. The Russian "soft power" in the Belarusian direction is well institutionalized, but its conceptual content requires updating, on the one hand, due to the current state of relations between the two States and the spiritual and intellectual demands of new generations of Belarusian society, and, on the other hand, because in the current environment the European civilizational and ideological projects constitute a very viable alternative to the Russian world.
Keywords: post-Soviet space, Poland, Lithuania, civilizational and ideological project, "soft power", "soft power" involvement, Russian world, European Union, Republic of Belarus, Russian-Belarusian relations
Article was received:11-06-2016
This article written in Russian. You can find full text of article in Russian here .