Iuliia Gataulina

Iuliia Gataulina

Doctor of Social Sciences


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Iuliia Gataulina is Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Tampere University, Finland. Currently, she works in “Assembling Postcapitalist International Political Economy” research project (funded by the Academy of Finland) and is a member of the “International Political Economy” research group. Her main research interests spring around international political economy, the workings of global capitalism and neoliberalism in the Global East, assemblage theorizing, new materialism, and ethnographic methods in International Relations. More broadly, Gataulina is interested how different politico-economic regimes of oppression and dispossession are composed across borders and how we can theorize more hopeful political alternatives.

In 2024-2028, Gataulina (PI) works on her postdoctoral project, Pluriversal waters: Tracing hydro-ontologies across colonial-extractivist assemblages, funded by Kone Foundation. This postdoctoral research project analyses different ways of being (with), governing, and exploiting water in the contexts of colonial extractivisms and seeks ways to rethink water from decolonial, relational, and ecological perspectives. The research project departs from Latin American studies on decolonizing water and seeks to enrich the scholarship on water ontologies from the contexts of Global North (Northern Europe) and Global East (Central Asia) . The project inquires into colonial-extractivist practices of water exploitation through case studies of 1) mining and related to it water degradation in Northern Finland and 2) extractivist practices in the Aral Sea in the Karakalpakstan autonomous region of Uzbekistan. In order to analyze the ways in which water is governed, exploited, and lived with, this research project applies three interconnected concepts: hydro-ontology, pluriversality, and assemblage. Colonial-extractivist regimes of political and economic governance are analyzed as assemblages, i.e. the mechanisms of power composed of human and non-human elements, e.g. water, land, humans, water management regulations, national laws, and resource extraction and production companies. The concept of pluriversality aims to capture different ontological projects of these actors in relation to water, hydro-ontologies. In order to pay attention to the entangled ontological realities and different ways of being with water, this research utilizes non-local ethnography. Moreover, the research project collaborates with the visual artists in analyzing, producing, and communicating the research topic and results.

Gataulina defended her PhD in January 2024 in Tampere University. Her doctoral dissertation, De/re/composing authoritarian-neoliberal assemblages. Ethnography of Russian universities and beyond, conceptualized the workings of neoliberalism beyond the Global North, specifically investigating how neoliberal reforms can reinforce the authoritarian modes of governance. Gataulina has been actively involved in issues around university democracy and autonomy, academic freedom, and international cooperation and solidarity. In 2018–2021, Gataulina worked in the research project “Towards Good Neighbourliness with Higher Education Cooperation” (funded by the Kone Foundation). She has been active and held different positions of trust in the student and, later, researcher unions in Finland and in Russia. In 2024, Gataulina serves as a vice-chair of Tampere University Association of Researchers and Teachers (Tampereen yliopiston tieteentekijät ry).

In 2022-2023, Gataulina has been involved in teaching following courses: International Political Economy (bachelor's level), International Relations reading group (doctoral level), Urban political economy (master's level). In 2019-2020, Gataulina worked as an academic coordinator of "Leadership for Change" master's programme, Faculty of Management and Business.

Gataulina graduated from her master's studies from St Petersburg State University and Tampere University (through the double-degree program) in 2017. Her master's thesis, Translating gender equality: Nordic initiatives in the Russian context, paved the way to research interests of the critique of Eurocentrsim, policy mobilities, and Russia/West geopolitical divide. In 2015-2019, Gataulina was active in LGBTIQ+ and feminist movements in St Petersburg.

Language skills

English - C1

Russian - Native

Finnish - A2

French - B1

Grants and awards

07.2024 – 30.06.2028 Personal funding for postdoctoral research “Pluriversal waters: Tracing hydro-ontologies across colonial-extractivist assemblages”, Kone Foundation. Amount of grant: 217500€.

02.2022 – 31.05.2023 Personal funding for doctoral research, Kone Foundation. Amount of grant: 30000€.

Previously, Iuliia was a part of two research group applications: Assembling postcapitalist international political economy (Academy of Finland; PI: Anni Kangas) and Towards goof neighbourliness with higher education cooperation (Kone Foundation; PI: Sirke Mäkinen). 

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Social Sciences, Tampere University

Award Date: 29 Feb 2024

Master of Social Sciences, Political Sciences, Translating gender equality: Nordic initiatives in the Russian context

Award Date: 28 Jun 2017

Master of Social Sciences, Political Sciences, Translating gender euqality: Nordic initiatives in the Russian context, St. Petersburg State University, Russia

Award Date: 17 Jun 2017

Bachelor of Social Sciences, Political Sciences, Ulyanovsk State University

Award Date: 13 Jul 2015


  • JZ International relations
  • International political economy
  • Political ecology
  • Global capitalism
  • Global East
  • Extractivisms
  • Ethnographic methods
  • Art-research collaboration


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