Anti-regime action and geopolitical polarization: understanding protester dispositions in Belarus

Ola Onuch , Gwendolyn Sasse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Do geopolitical orientations distinguish anti-Lukashenka protesters from non-protesters in Belarus? Employing data from an original online protest survey among 18+year-old citizens of Belarus residing in the country (MOBILISE 2020, n= 17,174) fielded 18August2020–29January2021, this paper compares protesters (n = 11,719) to non-protesters (n = 5,455) to better understand the dispositions that distinguish them. First, our logistic regression analysis finds robust evidence of polarization along geopolitical lines (with protesters preferring apro-EU and an anti-Russia orientation). Second, we show that pro-EU foreign policy preferences of protesters are neither temporally determined nor driven by the crisis, and are thus foundational among the positions held by anti-regime protesters. Third, we find that pro-EU and anti-Russia attitudes align with liberal democratic dispositions. Our study calls for the more systematic integration of foreign policy preferences into the comparative study of mobilization.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)62-87
JournalPost-Soviet Affairs
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 28 Feb 2022


  • Protest
  • Belarus
  • EU
  • Russia
  • value alignment
  • geopolitical orientations
  • foreign policy preferences
  • public opinion
  • mass protest
  • Survey research
  • post soviet
  • Authoritarian regimes
  • mass mobilization


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