I. Current projects
There are three basic areas of BISS activity: research and analytics, deliberation and education.
Research and analytics
1. Value Transformations in Belarus: Diagnosis and Policy-Shaping.
The project aims to study the value changes of Belarusians that have taken place over the past 30 years.
One of the important tasks of the project is to analyse the anti-authoritarian revolt of Belarusians through the prism of revealed values, as well as to develop practical recommendations for the peaceful transformation of Belarus towards democracy and finding the optimal geopolitical position of the country.
It is expected that during December 2020 - February 2021 there will be two capacious studies on the topic.
Project team: Piotr Rudkouski, Andrei Laurukhin, Hienadz' Korshunau.
2. Identity index
A pilot project aimed at (1) monitoring changes in the sphere of the symbolic and communicative function of the Belarusian language, historical national symbols and historical national narrative; (2) measuring changes by means of quantitative indicators.
It is expected that during November 2020 - February 2021 there will be two issues of the index.
Project team: Vadim Mojeiko, Anastasia Yuryeva, Yakub Dynko.
3. CoViD19 in Belarus: Optimal Solutions in a Situation of Uncertainty
The main goals of the project are the following: (1) analysis of various responses to the coronavirus pandemic; (2) assessment of short- and long-term risks entailed by particular responses; (3) making practical recommendations on how best to deal with the pandemic in Belarus; (4) building horizontal solidarity for dealing with the pandemic's consequences in Belarus. The main focus is on the situation in Belarus, but we also pay much attention to the global context.
During May-June 2020, two research texts with practical recommendations appeared; It is expected that by the end of 2020 there will be a capacious study, as well as several short analytical materials.
Project team: Piotr Rudkouski, Andrei Vitushka, Andrei Fomenko, Alexander Filipov.
4. Toward a New Belarus: Scenarios of post-Elections2020 Developments
The main idea of this policy-oriented research is to draft the most probable scenarios of future developments in Belarus and assess the risks of each of them.
Project team: Piotr Rudkouski, Jakub Dynko, Nicolas Butylin, Tadeo Vasquez.
The project was launched in 2018 by BISS, and since January 2019 has been implemented in partnership with the website of the Belarusian expert community Our Opinion. Blitz commentary consists in a quick (two or three days after the event) expert analysis of an event of socio-political or regional significance.
A characteristic feature of a blitz-commentaries is its precisely defined structure: a description (one or two paragraphs of an account of relevant facts) and a commentary (three to seven paragraph of expert explanation of what this event means in a broader context, its causes (factors) and possible consequences). The structure is inspired by one of the genres of analytics of the Centre for Eastern Studies in Warsaw (Ośrodek Studiów Wschodnich).
The prototype of the blitz commentaries was BISS-blitz - a regular product issued by the institute in 2009-2015.
On behalf of BISS the project is coordinated by Piotr Rudkouski.
6. Expert-analytical club
The project, which is implemented in partnership with the website of the expert community Our Opinion, weekly analytical monitoring Belarus in Focus and the Press Club, is aimed at discussing important events or processes in the country and the region.
Leading domestic and foreign experts, diplomats, politicians and public activists take part in the EAC meetings.
On behalf of BISS the project is coordinated by Vadim Mojeiko.
7. Critical thinking
The project aims to promote critical thinking skills in Belarusian society, especially among young people.
A series of video lectures is currently being prepared, which will appear on the BISS website and YouTube during December 2020 - February 2021.
Project team: Piotr Rudkouski, Andrei Laurukhin.
II. Projects planned
III. Selected past BISS projects
This research programme was aimed at analyzing Belarus’ human capital quality in different sectors. The studies focused on the efficiency of investment in education and human capital. BISS experts looked into human capital impact on labour productivity in Belarus and analysed how scientific research and innovation development were organized. The studies also centred on the structure of university education and vocational training, the degree to which Belarusian science was integrated into the world academic market; competitiveness of Belarus’ human capital and labor migration issues.
The 2008–2009 BISS research revealed the terms under which the Belarusian society accepted the authoritarian regime in the Belarusian society.
In 2013 BISS proceeded with this research, based on opinion poll findings and focus group interviews, which gave an insight into the social contract trends over time.
Modernization and Institutional Change
Research in this field focused on reforms in economic regulation; in its policy dimension it was aimed at importing best practices from different countries and regions and reforms in other areas. Particular attention was paid to improving human capital quality among government officials.
International Relations and Transnationalization
Eurasian Integration. Research in this field dealt with the effects of Eurasian integration on Belarusian politics, economy and society. BISS also inquired into what influence Belarus had on setting general rules by which all Eurasian integration parties played. The main dimensions here were the institutional structure of Eurasian integration, new rules for Belarusian business, transnationalization of Belarusian economy and politics, as well as various aspects of Belarus – Russia relations.
EU - Belarus. This research programme centred on different aspects of the EU – Belarus relations. BISS looked into opportunities open to the EU concerning modernization of Belarus and sought solutions how to overcome the confrontation and bring the EU – Belarus relations back to normal. Experts also developed recommendations on how to strengthen the EU – Belarus relations in the area of people-to people contacts.
Belarus's relations with developing countries. Within this research area BISS experts explored Belarus’s relationship with developing countries and possible development scenarios. Belarus’s policy on the developing world was regarded as an important component of the policy aimed to counterbalance Russia's role on the one hand and overcome the international isolation of Belarus on the other hand.