CREES doctoral researcher successfully defends thesis with minor corrections

Posted on Thursday 16th June 2011

Matthew Frear has successfully defended his thesis entitled "An Anatomy of Adaptive Authoritarianism. Belarus under Alexander Lukashenka" (with minor corrections).

From left to right: Dr Kataryna Wolczuk, Professor Julian Cooper, Mathew Frear, Dr Elena Korosteleva, Dr David White

His research examines the characteristics of of the non-democratic regime in place in Belarus, and in doing so introduces the model of adaptive authoritarianism. The study also analyses the factors which discourage disloyalty to the regime and marginalise any opposition.

The examiners were Dr Elena Korosteleva, Aberystwyth University and Professor Julian Cooper, University of Birmingham.

Matthew has been supervised by Dr Kataryna Wolczuk and Dr David White since he started his PhD in October 2006 as a doctoral researcher funded through CEELBAS (

Matthew joined CREES in 2005, having worked previously at the British Council for nine years in a number of roles in the UK, Russia and Ukraine.  He gained an MSc (with Distinction) in Contemporary Russian and East European Studies and was awarded the Grayson Prize for best first year postgraduate student in CREES. He previously gained a BA in Modern Languages (German and Russian) at Bradford University. Matthew has lectured to undergraduates in cultural politics at Birmingham, as well as contributed several book reviews to Europe Asia Studies. He has also been an active member of the postgraduate steering committe of the interdisciplinary Graduate Centre for Europe.