Dr Galina Yemelianova

Dr Galina Yemelianova

Centre for Russian, European and Eurasian Studies
Senior Lecturer in Eurasian Studies

Contact details

+44 (0)121 414 6362
44 (0)121 414 3423
Centre for Russian, European and Eurasian Studies
School of Government and Society
Muirhead Tower
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston, Birmingham,
B15 2TT, United Kingdom


  • 1985 PhD in Middle Eastern History, Institute of Asian and African Studies, Moscow State University
  • 1982 MA (equivalent) with distinction in Middle Eastern History (major) and Arabic language (minor), Institute of Asian and African Studies, Moscow State University


I joined the Centre for Russian, European and Eurasian Studies (formerly the Centre for Russian and East European Studies), in the School of Government and Society, in 1994 from a Research Fellowship at the London School of Economics (1992-93). Prior to this I worked as a Researcher in the Department of Arab Studies, in the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow (1989-94) and lectured in Arab and Islamic History in the Department of Middle Eastern Studies, the Institute of Asia and Africa of Moscow State University (1985-94). I have broad research interests in the history and contemporary politics of the Middle East, the Muslim regions of Eurasia, Islamic political movements and ethno-territorial conflicts in the Caucasus and Central Asia, where I have  travelled extensively for research projects I have implemented or directed. My research has been facilitated by my language competence in Russian, Arabic, French, Turkish, Azerbaijani and Kazakh.


My Current Teaching


  • MA Module: Caucasus: History, Culture and Contemporary politics (POLS G519H) 20 credits
  • MA Module: Civil War, Conflict and International Intervention (POLS G80H) 20 credits
  • MA Module: Researching Russia and Eastern Europe (POLS G510H) 20 credits


  •  End of Empire, 1st year (M106), 20 credits
  •  Islam and Politics in Europe, 3rd  year, 20 credits (from 2015/16)
  •  Islam and Politics in Central Asia and Middle East, 2nd year, 20 credits (from  2015/16)

My Previous Teaching   


  • MA Module: Central Asia: Islam, Nationalism and Globalisation, 20 credits  
  • MA Module: Historiography of the Arab Countries, 20 credits 
  • MA Module: History of Social Thought in the Middle East, 20 credits


  • BA Module: Medieval Arab History, 1st year, 20 credits
  • BA Module: Modern Arab History, 2nd  year, 20 credits  
  • MA Module: Outlines of Russian History, 1st year, 20 credits

Postgraduate supervision

I am happy to supervise PhD researchers on the history and contemporary social, political and cultural developments in Eurasia and the Middle East and other topics related to my research interests (See section on Research).

Currently I am supervising 4 doctoral researchers (from the USA/Armenia, the UK, Turkey and Saudi Arabia).

I have acted as external examiner for PhD researchers at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy; SOAS, London; the University of Manchester and the University of Sussex.  


My research has been organised around three main themes. Firstly, I have had a longstanding research interest in the history and contemporary social, political and cultural dynamic of Muslim states and regions of Eurasia, with the main focus on the role of Islam in the formation and functioning of its polities and societies. This research has been carried out within four large projects funded by the England’s Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), the British Academy and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Secondly, I have been particularly interested in the interaction between Islam, ethnicity, nationalism and politics in the Caucasus, Central Asia and the Volga Urals region of the Russian Federation in the post-Soviet period, and the role of external political and ideological influences in this interaction. I have explored this phenomenon in six large research projects funded by the ESRC, the Leverhulme Trust, the Nuffield Foundation, the Centre for East European Language-Based Area Studies (CEELBAS), the British Council and the Association for Professional Schools of International Affairs (APSIA, the US).  

Thirdly, I have had a strong interest in the comparative study of the social and political dimensions of Islam and the role of Islamic leadership, in particular, in the Middle East, Turkey and Eurasia. I have dealt with this theme within the large project, funded by the Government of Denmark.  

All my research projects have been of an international collaborative nature and have employed qualitative research methods through strategic articulation of analytical induction and grounded theory.  I have applied an inter-disciplinary theoretical framework by drawing on theology/religious studies, political science and sociology, though always with history as the main approach.

Other activities

Research leadership

Since 2008 I have led the University of Birmingham Research Group on the Caucasus and Central Asia (2008-14) which unites over 20 academics and PhD students across UoB who have research interests in the region. Members of the Group are drawn from the Centre for Russian, European and Eurasian Studies, the Department of Political Science and International Studies, the Department of Public Policy, the Centre for Byzantine and Ottoman Studies, the Department of Theology and the School of Law.  The Group organises round-tables and seminars with invited external speakers on topics related to the region.   Among its recent initiatives have been a round-table ‘The Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict: The Uses and Misuses of History,’ 26 November 2014, The University of Birmingham, and a one day conference ‘The Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict: Current Discourses and Future Perspective,’  King’s College London, to be held on 17 February 2015.

Journal editorial engagement

I am a member of the editorial boards of Europe-Asia Studies (Glasgow), of Orients (Moscow) and of the editorial committee of Caucasus Survey (London).

Media engagement

I have been a regular commentator on Islam-related issues for BBC television news, Sky television news, BBC Radio 4’s World At One, BBC World Service, BBC Russian Service, as well as Azerbaijani, Bulgarian, Danish, Kazakh, Russian and Swedish radio and television channels. I also write for BBC (Europe) and The Conversation

Key-note addresses

I have delivered key-note lectures on various topics related to Islam, nationalism and ethnicity-related issues in the former Soviet Union at many universities across the world. I will deliver a key-note lecture at the International conference on ‘Islam in Russia’ at the Davis Center, Harvard University in October 2015.



Many Faces of the Caucasus, London:  Routledge, 2014  (co-editor and contributor)

Radical Islam in the former Soviet Union, L., Routledge, 2010  (editor and contributor)

Islam in post-Soviet Russia. Public and Private Faces, L., Routledge, 2003 (co-editor and contributor)

Russia and Islam: A Historical Survey, London: Palgrave, 2002

Yemen During the First Ottoman Rule (1538-1635), Moscow: Nauka  Press, 1988 (under the name of Udalova). 

Selection of articles  

‘The Western Academic Discourse on the Post-Soviet De-Facto States,’  Caucasus Survey, April 2015 (forthcoming)

‘Islam, Nationalism and State in the Muslim Caucasus,’ Caucasus Survey,  1 (2), pp. 3-30 

‘Islam, National Identity and Politics in Contemporary Kazakhstan,’ Asian Ethnicity, 15(3),  2015, pp.286-301  

‘Many Faces of the Caucasus,’ special issue, Europe-Asia Studies, 2012, 64:8, pp. 1611-1624 (together with Kemoklidze et al)

‘When the West Meets the East: Exploring Ethnic Diversity in Eastern Europe,’ Nationalities Papers,2008, 36 (2), pp. 177- 195 (together with K.Wolczuk)  

‘The Rise of Islam in Muslim Eurasia: Internal Determinants and Potential Consequences,’ The China and Eurasia Forum Quarterly, 2007, 5(2), pp. 73-92

‘Kinship, Ethnicity and Religion in post-Communist Societies,’  Ethnicities  5(1),2005, pp. 51-82

‘Islam in Russia,’ The Maghreb Review, 30: 2-4,2005,  pp. 162-174  

‘Islam in the North-Western Caucasus,’ Cahiers d’études sur la Mediterranée orientale  et le monde turco-iranien,38, 2004, pp. 42-71  

‘Russia’s Ummaand its Muftiis, Religion, State and Society, 2, 2003, pp. 139-150  

‘Sufism and Politics in the North Caucasus, Nationalities Papers,  29: 4, 2001, pp. 661-688    

‘Shaimiev’s ‘Khanate’ on the Volga and its Russian Subjects,’ Asian Ethnicity, 1:1, 2000, pp. 37-52   

‘Islam and Nation Building in Tatarstan and Dagestan of the Russian  Federation,’ Nationalities Papers, 27: 4, 1999, pp. 606-630  

‘Volga Tatars, Russians and the Russian State at the Turn of the Nineteenth  Century: Relationships and Perceptions,’  The Slavonic and East European Review,  77: 3, 1998, pp. 448-484

‘The National Identity of the Volga Tatars at the Turn of the 19thCentury: Tatarism, Turkism and Islam,’ Central Asian Survey, 1997, 16(4), pp. 543-572   

‘Russia and Islam,’  Asian Affairs, xxvi:3, 1995, pp. 278-290   

‘Problems of Integration in the Arab World,’  Vostok,4, 1991, pp. 32-49.  

Book chapters  

‘Islamic Leadership in Eurasia: The Russian and Soviet Legacy,’ in A.Zhelyazkova  and E.Racius (eds), Islamic Leadership in the European Lands of the former Ottoman and Russian Empires (Legacy, Challenges and Change), Leiden: Brill, 2015 (forthcoming)

‘Muslims and Islamic Authorities in Russia,’  in  A.Zhelyazkova and E.Racius (eds)  Islamic Leadership in the European Lands of   the former Ottoman and Russian Empires (Legacy, Challenges and Change), Leiden: Brill, 2015 (forthcoming)

‘Islamic Radicalisation in the Ferghana Valley, in  T. Bremer and A. Krawchuk  (eds),   Eastern Orthodox Encounters of Identity and Otherness: Values, Self-Reflection, Dialogue, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014,  pp.95-123

‘Many Faces of the Caucasus,’ in  G.Yemelianova et al (eds),  Many Faces of the Caucasus, London: Routledge, 2014, pp.7-21(together with N.Kemoklidze et al)

‘Divergent Trends of Islamic Radicalisation in post-Soviet Russia’ in  R. Dannreuther, and L. March (eds), Russia and Islam: State, Society and Radicalism, London: Routledge, 2010, pp. 38-62 

‘Islam and Social Conflict in Russia,’ in D.Wright-Neville (ed),  Globalisation’s New Challenges: Social Cohesion in Diverse Communities, Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd, 2010, pp. 69-87

‘Islamic Radicalisation: A Post-Soviet or Global Phenomenon?’ in G.Yemelianova, G.(ed),  Radical Islam in the Former Soviet Union, London: Routledge, 2010,pp. 11-30 

‘Islam and Ethno-Nationalism in the North Western Caucasus,’ in G.Yemelianova, G.(ed),  Radical Islam in the Former Soviet Union, London: Routledge, 2010,pp. 112-145   (together with D.Sagramoso)

‘Islam and Islamism in the Ferghana Valley,  in G.Yemelianova, G.(ed),  Radical Islam in the Former Soviet Union, London: Routledge, 2010, pp. 211- 243 (together with  Z.Salmorbekova)

‘Islamic Radicalisation in Muslim Eurasia,’ in T. Abbas (ed),  Islamic  Political Radicalism: A European Perspective, Edinburgh University Press, 2007, pp.83-98

’Islam in Russia,’ in K.Coughlin (ed), Muslim Cultures Today: A Reference Guide, Westport: Greenwood Press, 2006, pp. 147-158

‘Transnational Sufism: the Haqqaniyya,’ in J.Malik and J.Hinnells (eds), Sufism in the West, London and New York: Routledge, 2006, pp. 103-115 (together with M.Draper, M. and  J.Nielsen)

‘Central Asia: The Reality of Human Rights,’  in R.Smith  and Ch. Van den Anker (eds), The Essentials of Human Rights, New York: Hodder Arnold, 2005, pp. 30-42

‘Central Asia and Kazakhstan in the 18th-20thCenturies,’ in  I.Smilianskaiia (ed),  History of the East, vol.4, Moscow: Vostochnaiia Literatura, 2004, pp. 150-162 

‘The Relationship between Russia and  Central Asia   in the 18thand 19thCenturies,’  in I.Smilianskaiia, (ed),  History of the East,vol.4, Moscow: Vostochnaiia Literatura, 2004, pp. 325-380

‘Problems in Multicultural Governance in the ex-Soviet Union,’ in  G.Singh and J. Rex (eds), Governance in Multicultural Societies: Lessons in Public  Policy, Aldershot: Ashgate, 2004, pp. 116-133

‘Muslim Russia after the Fall of Communism,’ in R.Bradshaw, N.Manning, and S.Thompstone (eds),  Ten Years After the Fall of Berlin Wall: Contemporary Change in Central and Eastern European Studies, East European Volume, Nottingham: Olearius Press, 2003, pp. 193-215

‘Transnational’ Islam versus “Ethnic” Islam  in Eastern Europe: The Role of Mass Media,’ in S.Allievi and J. Nielsen (eds),  Muslim Networks and Transnational Communities in and across Europe,Leiden: Brill, 2003, pp. 243-280 

‘A Study of Sufism in post-Soviet Dagestan of the Russian Federation,’  in  A.Zhelyazkova and J.Nielsen (eds),  Ethnology of Sufi Orders: Theory and Practice, Sofia: IMIR, 2001, pp. 126-142 

‘Ethnic  Nationalism, Islam and Russian Politics in the North   Caucasus,’  in  C. Williams and T. Sfikas (eds), Ethnicity  and Nationalism in Russia, the CIS and  the Baltic States, London: Ashgate, 1999, pp. 120-148

‘Alexander Shami,’ ,in V.Naumkin and I.Smilianskaiia (eds), Unknown Pages of Russian Oriental Studies,  Moscow: Nauka Press, 1997, pp. 39-81

‘Dynamic of Inter-Arab Political Relations’, in V.Isayev and

V.Naumkin (eds),  The Arab World: 30 Years of Independent Development,Moscow: Nauka Press, 1990, pp. 296-322