Power dynamics in Russian-Tatarstani relations: A case study




Davison, Jennifer-Anne

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In the context of nationalism and sovereignty studies emerging since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, this thesis provides an economic, rather than political, perspective of Tatarstan’s success in negotiating sovereignty claims with Russia, arguing that what lay behind Tatarstan’s demands for extensive political and economic rights was not mass nationalist mobilization, but the desire for control over natural resources by the Tatarstani elite dominated by former Soviet functionaries of indigenous nationality. In addition, this paper examines the importance of continuity among the local political elites, contrasting Tatarstan’s approach with that of Chechnya’s uncompromising separatist drive and the resulting years of civil conflict. Finally, the most recent page in the history of Russian-Tatarstani relations, the gradual reduction of the republic’s autonomy in connection with President Putin’s centralizing reforms, confirms my principal argument that control over resources is more important to the Tatarstani elites than political power as such.



Russia, Power Dynamics, Tatarstan, Tatarstani, Tatar, Russian Federation, Oil, Sovereignty, Chechnya, Nationalism, Soviet Union, Autonomous Republic, Elite, Autonomy