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A Taste for Oppression: A Political Ethnography of Everyday Life in Belarus

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Volume 6

Anthropology of Europe

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A Taste for Oppression

A Political Ethnography of Everyday Life in Belarus

Ronan Hervouet

326 pages, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-80073-025-0 $130.00/£97.00 Hb Not Yet Published (March 2021)

eISBN 978-1-80073-026-7 eBook Not Yet Published

Hb View cartYour country: United States - Click here to remove geolocation   Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


“These empirically rich and interesting materials reflect a serious and long-term engagement with the author’s field sites and can make important interventions in debates about the social foundations of authoritarian rule.” • Jessica Pisano, The New School of Social Research.

“The study is very original and interesting as it fills an important gap in our understanding of existing authoritarian regimes.” • Elisabeth Anstett, CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique), Marseille


Belarus has emerged from communism in a unique manner as an authoritarian regime. The author, who has lived in Belarus for several years, highlights several mechanisms of tyranny, beyond the regime’s ability to control and repress, which should not be underestimated. The book immerses the reader in the depths of the Belarusian countryside, among the kolhozes and rural communities at the heart of this authoritarian regime under Alexander Lukashenko, and offers vivid descriptions of the everyday life of Belarusians. It sheds light on the reasons why part of the population supports Lukashenko and takes a fresh look at the functioning of what has been called 'the last dictatorship in Europe'.

Ronan Hervouet is Professor of sociology at the University of Bordeaux and a member of the Centre Émile Durkheim. He has previously published a book on Belarus, entitled Datcha Blues. Existences ordinaires et dictature en Biélorussie (Belin, 2009).

Subject: Anthropology (General) Sociology
Area: Central/Eastern Europe


Notes on Text


Chapter 1. Government of Rural Areas
Chapter 2. A Discrete Ethnography
Chapter 3. Authorized Resources
Chapter 4. Illegalisms
Chapter 5. Interdependencies
Chapter 6. Life Horizons
Chapter 7. Solidarity
Chapter 8. Dignity
Chapter 9. The Fragility of the World
Chapter 10. Levels of Social Order



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