Director of the Visiting Fellows Programme
Anna Korhonen
Head of International Affairs
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Eeva Korteniemi
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aleksanteri-fellows [at]

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Location & Connections


Visiting Fellows 2015-2016

Vasil Navumau, Belarus  

“Political Activism in Russia, Belarus and Ukraine: Application of the New Social Movement Approach to Euromaidan, Bolotnaya and Tent Camp”
(June 2016)

Vasil Navumau completed his PhD at the Graduate School for Social Research at the Polish Academy of Sciences, having defended thesis entitled "Social Activism in Contemporary Belarus: A New Social Movement Approach to the Tent Camp Protest Action in Minsk, 2006."  Currently he is an editor of Belarusian web-based journal, devoted to discussion and popularization of ideas in the sphere of public sector innovation, e-government formation and e-participation enhancement in Belarus. His research interests focus on the ways new ICTs influence the transformation of repertoire, scope and ideology of social movements and the ways they can contribute to the formation of more transparent, participative and inclusive government.


Short description of ongoing research:
My current research focuses on social activism in three countries – Belarus, Russia and Ukraine during 2000-2014 and studies the gradual transformation of collective actions with an advent of ICTs and Internet. The project considers cross-movement and cross-national changes in the degree of protest and its dependence on other important criteria (such as economic and political variables), as well as dynamics of opposition and “reconciliation” between major collective actors and the state. The most important dimension of the project is analysis of the micro-level of the most significant protest events occurred in countries mentioned above: in particular, I examine communication processes and discursive strategies used by the participants of Orange Revolution (2004), The Tent Camp in Belarus (2006), Euromaidan (2014) and Bolotnaya protest in Russia in Internet to mobilize supporters, conduct negotiations and oppose the adversaries as well as the negotiations between various groups of interests comprising the movements.

During my one-month stay at the Aleksanteri Institute, I plan to focus on analysis of Bolotnaya protest movement. This part of my work appears to be the first attempt of generalization of accumulated information on Russian activism (I have fully accomplished part devoted to Belarusian activism in 2000-2014 and made considerable progress in what concerns Ukrainian activism): I will also try to apply elaborated theoretical scheme and its interpretation based on my theoretical framework (Melucci’s NSM theory complemented with the Deleuzian conceptual instruments of molar/molecular).
I plan to analyze polls conducted by Levada Centre to describe the participants of the mass actions who came to the streets to protest against the electoral fraud. I am looking to learn about the demography, number of protests, their intensity both in capital and in regions and reveal the dynamics of the opposition between the collective actors and the state (intensity of violence used by police, number of arrested participants etc.). This will allow making the first outline of the Bolotnaya protest movement which later will be expanded using Melucci’s NSM theory (which interprets social movements as important messages in themselves) and a conceptual pair molecular/molar. In my future research work I plan to analyze main similarities and differences between Bolotnaya and other Russian protest: the demographic characteristics of participants, repertoire, causes of collective action and slogans.

Email: naumov.vasily [at]

Academic hosts at the Aleksanteri Institute: Jukka Pietiläinen and Mark Teramae