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Photo of Ekatherina Zhukova.

Ekatherina Zhukova

Researcher

Photo of Ekatherina Zhukova.

Foreign aid and identity after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster: How Belarus shapes relations with Germany, Europe, Russia, and Japan

Author

  • Ekatherina Zhukova

Summary, in English

This article looks at how Belarus, the most affected state by the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, discursively constructs cooperation with foreign countries that provide help in combating the consequences of the tragedy. It shows that different representations of foreign actors handling the prolonged consequences of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster contribute to developing new friendships (with Japan), questioning existing cooperation (with Russia), and softening old (with Germany) and current (with Europe) conflicts in Belarus. The article makes a contribution to three debates in identity literature in constructivist International Relations: (a) identity and foreign policy; (b) the ‘voice’ and agency of the ‘Rest’; and (c) identity and difference. It is argued that when small non-Western states (help receivers) construct an ethical identity of bigger Western and non-Western states (help providers), they challenge the existing temporal and spatial identities of old strangers, enemies, and friends and create a new platform for conflict and cooperation.

Publishing year

2017

Language

English

Pages

485-501

Publication/Series

Cooperation and Conflict

Volume

52

Issue

4

Document type

Journal article

Publisher

SAGE Publications

Topic

  • Political Science

Status

Published

ISBN/ISSN/Other

  • ISSN: 0010-8367