ItemNGOs in Romania: An Assessment of Their Impact on Strengthening Civil Society and Promoting Democracy in Cluj-Napoca, Romania(Accent Publisher, 2018) Brel, YuliyaWe studied the scope, content, revenue structure, and impediments to work of the non-profit sector in Cluj-Napoca as we considered the impact non-profit organizations exert on strengthening civil society and promoting democracy in the City. Major Findings: NGOs in Romania experience various difficulties in accomplishing their missions, including overlapping and/or conflicting enabling and governing legislation, the absence of regulations for pro bono services offered to the representatives of marginalized communities, and the lack of legal financial incentives to individuals to make charitable contributions. ItemRussia's Fight for the "Globe"(Digital Commons @ Kennesaw State University, 2017) Brel, YuliyaThe foreign policy of Russia in the near abroad is the continuation of its domestic policy, which includes the consolidation of the population around a leader by means of creating an image of an enemy, especially at times when the economic situation in the country is deteriorating. When interpreting the inner processes in the country, political scientists usually apply the decomposition of the totalitarian Soviet regime as a framework. This paper suggests a broader framework through an analysis of historical structures anchored in Russian civilization. The key to understanding Russia's foreign policy, I argue, is rooted in the imperial syndrome associated with the country’s history, whether one considers the tsarist, Soviet, or post-Soviet periods. At present, Russia’s desire to restore its status as a world power, as in the past, requires it to develop a foreign policy secured by control of its nearest neighbors. For centuries, it purchased their loyalty and fealty with natural resources. When this routine was disrupted, for example with a drop in the market prices of raw materials, another practice developed where, in order to maintain its hegemony, Russia used aggression against its nearest neighbors. This approach is sustained by endorsement from the general public that seems oblivious to conditions of unparalleled income inequality in Russia. For them there is nostalgia for the restoration of a super power status for the country. The chief outcome of the study is Russian policies of self-isolation and hybrid wars against its nearest neighbors, which is a contemporary means used to prolong the life of an imagined empire. ItemThe Utilities and Housing Sector Crisis in the Republic of Belarus(The South African Association for Public Administration and Management, 2017-03) Brel, YuliyaThe institutional structure of the public sector in the Republic of Belarus is rather complex, with the key role in it belonging to the state. The latter is appealed to when it becomes necessary to correct and compensate for the market failures. The recent crisis in the housing and utilities sector illustrates to what extent the Belarusian public sector is capable of compensating for the market failures and alleviating social inequality. The article considers why the Soviet welfare system was preserved in Belarus. Based on the extant scholarship, official documents and available secondary data, it argues that President Lukashenko retained the old system to help maintain his personal power. In addition, Belarusian bureaucracy was allowed to pursue its own interests in exchange for the support of the President. Strengthened by favorable exogenous drivers, the system was functioning quite successfully, making the introduction of liberal reforms seemingly unnecessary. Once the external market conditions changed, the state became unable to provide the people with further improvement in wellbeing. The new situation made the President look for a different strategy to ensure his political longevity. The prospects of the current strategy for success, however, are not certain. ItemThe Failure of the Language Policy in Belarus(Biden School of Public Policy and Administration, 2017) Brel, YuliyaThe Republic of Belarus, which used to be part of the Soviet Union, became an independent state in August of 1991. It was expected that Belarus would follow the same path on the way of its independent nation building as the other former Soviet republics, i.e. it would promote its national identity and the use of the national language in the public and private spheres of life. The tentative attempt of the nationalist-inclined part of the Belarusian intelligentsia to introduce a new language policy that stipulated for a gradual switch to Belarusian as the sole state language first seemed quite successful. The referendum of 1995, however, reintroduced the Russian language as the second state language, which in practice meant squeezing Belarusian out of the public sphere, and going back to Belarus being a predominantly Russian-speaking country. Based on the available scholarship, official and historical documents, and other secondary data, the essay argues that the new language policy failed because Belarusians had not formed into a nation by the beginning of the 20th century. With the Russian language being the medium of urban dwellers’ communication and a means of upward social mobility since the times of the tsarist empire, the value of being fluent in Belarusian still remains questionable for the majority of the Belarusian population.