Andrei Kazakevich: Belarus Needs Research, not Ideology-Driven Journalism

Some 200 scholars from ten countries have confirmed their participation in the main academic event of the year – the Second International Congress of Belarusian Studies – that will take place in September 2012.

The organizers of the Congress bring together the scholars engaged in the development of various areas of social and human sciences, as well as empirical studies of contemporary Belarusian society.

Political expert and director of the institute of political studies “Political Sphere” Andrei Kazakevich notes some serious modifications in the evolution of social and human studies in Belarus over the last two decades. Back in the 1990s, Belarusian scholars involved in social research and the humanities discovered numerous new directions, ideas and concepts. By the 2000s, the new theoretical foundations had been quite thoroughly developed and gradually became the domain of education. The new environment called for more specific knowledge and studies. On the other hand, Belarusian researchers had new challenges to take on – science budgets were depleting, the broad public paid less attention to science, and academic freedoms were frequency limited.

These are just some of the reasons why opinion-based journalism and analysis, often driven by ideology, prevail over scientific research. The Congress has a mission of overcoming this situation and encouraging an increase in research practice in the academic and expert community.

The Congress will be working in the framework of a broad range of sections focusing on various disciplines – history, economics, political science, literary studies, urban studies and religious studies, etc.

To attend the main academic event of the year, please, apply at the Congress website at by 15 June.