Belarus under Lukashenko - The Last European Dictatorship?

Aleksandr Lukashenko (b. 1954) has been the President of Belarus for more than 25 years, having served in that position since it was created on July 20, 1994. Under Lukashenko, Belarus has preserved much of the country’s Soviet-era symbolism and has been sanctioned for human rights violations. Lukashenko’s critics have described him as 'Europe’s last dictator', but he maintains that his policies are necessary to preserve stability, and to prevent the rise of the kind of oligarchy and poverty found throughout much of the former Soviet Union. Has Lukashenko led his country well, or is he just another post-Soviet tyrant?

This class will be delivered online via the online platform Zoom. Enrolling students need to ensure they have an email, a reliable internet connection, microphone/speakers and access to a tablet, smartphone or computer.


  • Brian Bennett, The Last Dictatorship in Europe: Belarus Under Lukashenko (New York, NY, USA: Columbia University Press, 2012).
  • Andrew Wilson, Belarus: The Last European Dictatorship (New Haven, CT, USA: Yale University Press, 2012).


  • Soviet Belarus: Its role within the Soviet Union
  • Post-Soviet Belarus: Domestic policy under Lukashenko
  • Post-Soviet Belarus: Foreign policy under Lukashenko

By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Understand the broad contours of the history of Soviet Belarus.
  2. Comprehend the nature and significance of the domestic policies pursued by Lukashenko.
  3. Appreciate the role of contemporary Belarus in its relations with Russia and with the European Union.

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