UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES)


Belarus Economy: The Challenges of Stalled Reforms

24 February 2017, 12:30 pm–5:30 pm

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UCL SSEES, 16 Taviton Street

A workshop organised by the UCL Centre for Comparative Study of the Emerging Economies

at UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies 

Background and rationale:

‘Twenty-five years after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Belarus stands out as a special case in transition blending, on the one hand, signs of relative prosperity, socially oriented policies and sprouts of entrepreneurships and, on the other hand, remnants of the communist past. The core of the Belarusian economic model throughout most of this period was a combination of external rents and soft budget constraints on the state-owned part of the economy backed by a strong system of administrative control. In periods of favourable external conditions this mix provided for relatively high rates of economic growth and allowed the authorities to maintain a ‘social contract’ with the population targeting close to full employment. But this model also led to the persistent accumulation of a quasi-fiscal deficit which time and again came to the surface, and its subsequent monetisation provoked macroeconomic and currency turmoil. At present, Belarus’ economic model has run up against its limits and policy changes seem inevitable’.

Source: Rumen Dobrinsky (editor), Amat Adarov, Kateryna Bornukova, Peter Havlik, Gábor Hunya, Dzmitry Kruk, Olga Pindyuk, ‘Belarus Economy: the Challenges of Stalled Reforms’, Study of the Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies (WIIW). View Report

This workshop aims to take stock of these developments in Belarus and discuss Belarusian economic challenges in a comparative perspective. It is organised around 2 key documents: (i) the WIIW study cited above and (ii) the 2016 National Innovation for Sustainable Development Review of Belarus (formerly Innovation Performance Reviews) which is undertaken for the Belarussian government by a team of experts under the auspices of the UN Economic Commission for Europe (forthcoming).


12.30-13.00Registration and sandwich lunch
13.00-13.10Welcome and Introduction to the workshop: Dr Elodie Douarin
13.10-14.00Rumen Dobrinsky: "Defying the convention: Belarus’s unique transition path"
Discussant: Dr. Evghenia Sleptsova
14.00-14.30Dzmitry Kruk, "Macroeconomic environment and policy dilemmas".
14.30-15.00Discussant: Prof Anastasia Nesvetailova
15.00-15.30Coffee break
15.30-16.00Prof. Slavo Radosevic ‘Belarusian Innovation Capacity in a Comparative Perspective: Lessons from Transition Outlier
16.00-16.30Discussant: Dr Julia Korosteleva
16.30-17.30Concluding Discussion: Chair and introduction: Prof. Michael Landesmann
17.30-18.00Wine reception



Elodie Douarin, Director of UCL Centre for Comparative Study of Emerging Economies and Lecturer in Economics at UCL SSEES.

Rumen Dobrinsky, Research Associate at the Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies (wiiw) and Director for Strategy, European Alliance for Innovation, Belgium

Dr. Evghenia SleptsovaEconomist, Central and Eastern Europe, Oxford Economics, London

Dzmitry Kruk, Researcher, Belarusian Economic Research and Outreach Center, Minsk 

Anastasia Nesvetailova, Professor at School of Arts and Social Sciences, Department of International Politics City University of London, Director, City Political Economy Research Centre (CITYPERC), MA Global Political Economy and BSc IPE 

Slavo Radosevic Professor of Industry and Innovation Studies, UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies, Special Advisor to EC Commissioner for Regional Policy, Research Director of UCL Centre for Comparative Study of Emerging Economies, Research Professor at St Petersbourg Higher School of Economics 

Julia Korosteleva, Senior Lecturer in Business Economics, UCL SSEES and the Programme Coordinator for the International Masters in Economics, State and Society (IMESS) Programme.

Michael Landesmann, Professor of Economics at the Johannes Kepler University Linz, WIIW Senior Research Associate, Scientific Director of WIIW (1996-2016)

Registration is free, but essential. To book a ticket please visit the Eventbrite page: