David James Meadows: THE EFFECT OF POLITICAL CULTURE ON DIFFERENT SIDES OF THE POST-SOVIET POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC REFORMS: Comparison of the experience of Latvia and Belarus since 1991

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(Abstract, magazine “CULTURE, NATION”, issue 11, September 2015, pp. 40-63)

The editorial board of magazine “CULTURE, NATION” considered as positive to publish selected parts of the D.D. Meadows’ Ph.D. thesis (2012, Halifax, Canada) dedicated to the development of the two countries Latvia and Belarus in the post-Soviet period (translated from English into Belarusian by Piotra Murzionak). The author has shown that political and cultural beliefs that formed by the historical religious and cultural environment, have a central impact on the particular political and economic development the country selected. In particular, it is shown that divergent political and economic orientation observed between Latvia and Belarus, were due to different political and cultural worldviews, lifestyles, religion, and historical memory, which inform now Latvians and Belarusians about the ideas, beliefs and preferences concerning patterns of life in relation to the relevant political and economic organization of society and the leadership role of the state in the economy. It is noted that Belarus has its own consistent and unique national identity that includes a variety of ideas, contrary to the regulatory definition, which was built by many researchers. Agreeing with the key findings it should be noted some trend in writing the thesis, which was reflected in numerous repetitions of the main statements. The latter, apparently, due to the author’s desire to be more convincing in the defense of conclusions. At the same time, the shortcomings of the work can be attributed to almost complete absence of those aspects of the historical memory of Belarusians associated with the influence of Western culture, at the time when Belarus was the main constituent of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and later, being a member of the Commonwealth. Namely, the Belarusian researchers (A. Krautsevich V. Kuplevich) showed a number of features of the Western culture at that time, which evidenced by a significant influence of the Reformation, Counter-Reformation and other European values on the territory of modern Belarus. The editors believe that readers will be interested to read not only offered excerpts from the thesis, but also the work itself

Categories: Асьвета, Зьнешнія адносіны, Нацыя Беларусы

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