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The politics of state celebrations in Belarus

Nations and Nationalism

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["Nations and Nationalism, Volume 26, Issue 4, Page 883-901, October 2020. ", "\nAbstract\nNational celebrations have been defined as manifestations of collective identities that glorify the nation and strengthen the national community. However, the magnitude and design of celebrations in autocratic states indicate a different ideational function that these symbolic events play in an autocratic political system. Autocratic elites have the administrative capacity to distort everyday routines and impose ideological principles of how people participate in state celebrations. How citizens engage in official celebratory practices in an authoritarian political context formulates a valuable contribution to the conceptualisation of national celebrations. Drawing on focus group discussions and ethnographic observations, I investigate how people negotiate meanings of celebratory and commemorative practices in the context of autocratic Belarus. I discuss how volatile the symbolic politics is when the invention of new symbolic traditions or the reinvention of old narratives does not appeal to all social groups and lacks authenticity.\n"]