Aleh IVANOU

Academic Year:
2019/2020

Research Program:
PoM Pontica Magna

Affiliation:
Independent Researcher

Country:
Belarus

Research project: “A Tale of Three Food Chains”: Belarus’ Export-Oriented Rural Extractivism, Self-Enclosing “Potato” Civil Society, and Self-Provisioning Resistance

I address the sphere of post-socialist agrarian transition and food policies, and focus Belarus, aiming to elicit the role of potato (cultivated crop) behind the underdeveloped civil society and local community dominated by the state, and show prospects for public resistance. I use for my guidance results of previous research on the societal role of potato and such-like staple food in Russia and elsewhere, but I also intend to bring the research edge forward by considering a role of governmental policies (in Belarus but possibly elsewhere) in establishing a close control over the distribution of certain food while retaining laxity regarding other products. My research questions thus concern manifestations of “food-induced” weakness of civil society and community, workings of specific governmental policies in food distribution, and prospects for public resistance. I expect to make a contribution in studies of authoritarianism, and post-Soviet transitology.