The August 9, 2020 presidential election in Belarus was followed by mass protests and state terror. The electoral campaign led by women and bolstered by artificial intelligence technology saw unprecedented citizen mobilization despite extreme electoral manipulation. What conditions facilitated this uprising in a neo-Soviet authoritarian regime with strong control of the economy and society? Dr. Sedziaka will examine events, interviews, and campaign speeches collected over the course of the campaign to trace the process of civic mobilization. This research will contribute to our understanding of the risks of unfair elections in harsh authoritarian regimes.
Alesia Sedziaka is a visiting research scholar at Stetson University working on a project about civic mobilization in Belarus. She holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Arizona and a B.A. in Political Science from Stetson University. Prior to her current assignment, she was a visiting assistant professor at her alma mater, where she taught courses on the politics of authoritarianism and human rights. Her research focuses on electoral manipulation and protest against unfair elections. She is a Spring 2021 Virtual Open Research Laboratory Associate.