Although a number of texts have focused on the role of emotion in the dynamics of political mobilization, their focus has been predominantly on the initial stages of protest in the context of democratic or partly free societies. Using the case of the 2020–21 anti-police violence protests in Belarus, this article analyzes the role of emotional community in nondemocratic, authoritarian environments where vocal criticism is becoming increasingly risky, but the level of societal discontent remains high. Relying on mass media publications, comments on social media platforms, and ethnographic listening in Minsk, the article analyzes the emotional aspect of a protest that was followed by mass repressions. Two processes are identified that affect both protesters’ emotional community and supporters of the regime: emotional split from the opposite side and the psychologization of resistance to violence. These two concepts are useful for understanding the emotional dynamics of protest in authoritarian contexts but also have wider application beyond such settings.
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Research Article| September 01 2023
Emotional Splits and Psychologization: Popular Responses to Mass Repressions in Belarus
Communist and Post-Communist Studies (2023) 56 (3): 72–97.
Andrei Vazyanau; Emotional Splits and Psychologization: Popular Responses to Mass Repressions in Belarus. Communist and Post-Communist Studies 1 September 2023; 56 (3): 72–97. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/cpcs.2023.1997969
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