In recent decades Russia has played an increasingly active role in the Middle East as states within the region continue to diversify their relations with major external powers. Yet the role of specific Russian regions, especially those that share an ‘Islamic identity’ with the GCC has been overlooked.
In this book Diana Galeeva examines the relations between the Gulf States and Russia from the Soviet era to the present day. Using the Republic of Tatarstan, one of Russia’s Muslim polities as a case study, Galeeva demonstrates the emergence of relations between modern Tatarstan and the GCC States, evolving from concerns with economic survival to a rising paradiplomacy reliant on shared Islamic identities.
Having conducted fieldwork in the Muslim Republics of Tatarstan, Bashkortostan and Dagestan, the book includes interviews with high-ranking political figures, heads of religious organisations and academics. Moving beyond solely economic and geopolitical considerations, the research in this book sheds light on the increasingly important role that culture and shared Islamic identity play in paradiplomacy efforts.
Dr Diana Galeeva is a Visiting Fellow at the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies and a Non-Resident Fellow with the Gulf International Forum. She has previously been an Academic Visitor to St. Antony’s College, University of Oxford (2019-2022). Dr Galeeva is the author of two books, “Qatar: The Practice of Rented Power” (Routledge, 2022) and “Russia and the GCC: The Case of Tatarstan’s Paradiplomacy” (I.B. Tauris/ Bloomsbury, 2023). She is also a co-editor of the collection “Post-Brexit Europe and UK: Policy Challenges Towards Iran and the GCC States” (Palgrave Macmillan, 2021). Diana’s academic papers and public engagement pieces have appeared in International Affairs, The RUSI Journal, Place Branding and Public Diplomacy, Journal of Islamic Studies, Middle East Institute, King Faisal Centre for Research and Islamic Studies, Gulf International Forum, and the LSE Middle East Centre. She has presented her research at Oxford University, Cambridge University, LSE, Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies, George Mason University, and MGIMO. Dr Galeeva was a convenor of the international conference ‘Russia and the Muslim World: Through the Lens of Shared Islamic Identities’ (Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies, 2021) and a co-director of the workshop ‘Post-Brexit Britain, Europe and Policy towards Iran and the GCC states: Potential Challenges, and the Possibility of Cooperation (Cambridge University, Gulf Research Meeting, 2019). Dr. Galeeva completed her bachelor’s at Kazan Federal University (Russia), she holds an MA from Exeter University (UK) and a Ph.D. from Durham University (UK).