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Mongolians After Socialism:
Economic Aspiration,
Political Development,
and Cultural Identity

Conference name in Mongolian

June 27-29, 2011, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

Also Co-sponsored by:

Richard Taupier, PhD, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, with funding from the Rubin Foundation.

Funding for States at Regional Risk Project at Emory University is provided by the Carnegie Corporation.

Conference Documents

Executive Report of Conference

Conference Flyer

Conference Flyer (Mongolian Translation)

Conference Press Release

Conference Program

Conference Program (Mongolian Translation)

Click here to link to conference photos



Conference Participants
Bios and Presentation Summaries (Click on Title for Summary of Presentation)

For Full Text of Conference Presentations, click here.(Coming soon)

Monday, June 27, 2011


1. Hon. Jonathan Addleton, PhD, (United States Ambassador)

Jonathan Addleton, currently US Ambassador to Mongolia, served as USAID Mission Director in Ulaanbaatar during 2001 - 2004. His other long term Foreign Service assignments have taken him to Pakistan, Cambodia, Yemen, Jordan, Belgium, Kazakstan and South Africa.

Addleton is a life member of both the Mongolia Society and the Nature Conservancy. He has a PhD from Tufts University (Medford, MA) and a BS from Northwestern University (Evanston, IL). His publications include many articles on Asia and two books, "Undermining the Center" (Oxford University Press) and "Some Far and Distant Place" (University of Georgia Press).

2. Ms. Gerelmaa Amgaabazar, Program Manager, Education Policy and Social Policy Programs, Open Society Forum

3. Ven. Khamba Lama Gabju Choijamts Demberel, Gandan Monastery

4. Dr. Bruce Knauft, Director SARR, Emory University

Bruce M. Knauft is Project Director of the States at Regional Risk Project (SARR) and Samuel C. Dobbs Professor of Anthropology at Emory University in Atlanta, GA, USA. Professor Knauft’s research combines politico-economic and cultural study across different world areas, historically, and in the present. His current work includes the geopolitical, economic, and cultural status of world powers vis-à-vis states at risk in various world areas. He is interested in the relationship between engaged scholarship and the practical as well as the theoretical understanding of contemporary developments and challenges.

Trained as a cultural anthropologist, Dr. Knauft conducted two years of doctoral research among the Gebusi, a remote rainforest people of Papua New Guinea with whom he still maintains contact. During his twenty-six years at Emory, he has developed comparative interests and directed projects across a range of world areas, topics, and disciplinary perspectives. He also actively teaches students, from beginning undergraduates to advanced graduate students and post-doctoral fellowsl.

Dr. Knauft’s publications have addressed issues of political economy and culture; modernity and marginality; politics and violence; and gender and sexuality. He has authored seven books and numerous publications. For more details, see:


Day Introduction:

Dr. Damdinsuren Bayanduuren, President, Mongolian University of Science and Technology

Session 1: Politics & Economics: “New Money,” Elected Governments, and Wealth Disparity

Moderator for Session 1:

Dr. Bruce Knauft, Director SARR, Emory University


1. Dr. Munkh-Erdene Lkhamsuren

"Mongolia’s Post-Socialist Transition: A Great Neoliberal Transformation"

Lhamsuren Munkh-Erdene is currently a Lise Meitner Fellow at the Institute of Social Anthropology, Austrian Academy of Sciences. He received his doctorate from Hokkaido University, Japan, in 2004 in the field of History and Area Studies. He is a professor at the National University of Mongolia and was a fellow of the Stanford Humanities Center, Stanford University, for 2008-2009. His current project, “Ethnic identities in Modern Mongolia,” looks at the construction of Mongolian national, ethnic and sub-ethnic identities.

His recent publications are “Where did the Mongol Empire come from? Medieval Mongol Ideas of People, State and Empire”, Inner Asia, Vol. 13 (2), Forthcoming; “1640 Great Code: An Inner Asian Parallel to the Treaty of Westphalia,” Central Asian Survey, 29 (3) 2010; “Transformation of Mongolia’s Political System: From Semi-parliamentary to Parliamentary?” Asian Survey, 50 (2), 2010; ““Beneath the Headless State and Beyond the Aristocratic Orders”, Ab Imperio, Vol. 4, 2009; “Selling of Good Father’s Name: Legitimacy, Pride and Commodity (Commemoration of Chinggis Khan in Modern Mongolia),” Bulletin 24, 2008; “The Mongolian Nationality Lexicon: From the Chinggisid Lineage to Mongolian Nationality (From the seventeenth to early twentieth century),” Inner Asia, 8 (1), 2006.

2. Ms. Oyungerel Tsedevdamba

"Exercising the Right to Run for Office in Mongolia"

Talk summary in Mongolian

Oyungerel Tsedevdamba currently serves as President of the Democratic Women's Union. She is a non-staff advisor to Mongolian President Elbegdorj Tsakhia. During her 15 years in public service, Tsedevdamba has worked on the country’s privatization efforts and social insurance reform, and served as advisor to the prime minister and a member of parliament. As the co-founder and ex Executive Director of the Liberty Center, a human rights watchdog, Tsedevdamba has developed a reputation as a tireless advocate for democracy and gender equality in Mongolia. As the co-founder and President of the Local Solutions Foundation, she is actively educating the Mongolian public on environmental health. Tsedevdamba is an activist with the Mongolian Democratic Party since 1991. In 2007, she authored Note on My Study in America, a bestseller in Mongolia, and co-authored Nomadic Dialogues. In 2008, Tsedevdamba co-authored Green-Eyed Lama which was awarded The Best Book of 2008, 2009, 2010 in Mongolia. In 2010, she authored My Jobs Know How, a bestseller in Mongolia and translated and compiled two handbooks, A Community Guide for Environmental Health and Small Directory of Jobs and Occupations.

3. Mr. Temuujin Khishigdemberel (Member of Parliament)

"Mongolia after Socialism: Understanding of and Approaches Towards State Accountability"

4. Ms. Batchimeg Migeddorj (National Security Advisor to President)

"Economic Background of Political Destiny"

Ms. Migeddorj Batchimeg is currently the National Security Policy Advisor to the President of Mongolia. She received master degrees at Taiwan University of Political Science and the Mongolian University of Defense, and is currently a doctoral student in Political Science. She is an expert in regional studies, Mongolian national security research, Sino-Mongolian relations.


Session 2: Contemporary Cultural and Spiritual Identities

Moderator for Session 2:

Dr. Richard Taupier, University of Massachusetts, Amherst


1. Dr. Bataa Mishig-Ish

"Grand Maitreya Project: Revival of Buddhist Culture through Education, Environmental Protection and Preservation of Values"

Talk Summary in Mongolian

M. Bataa is Chief Adviser to the Grand Maitreya Project and serves as Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Grand Maitreya Foundation. He currently working as Director of International Affairs of National Academy of Governance, Government Agency of Mongolia.

2. Ven. S. Bayantsagaan, Khamba Lama, Lamrin Monastery

“Contributions of the Association of Buddhists in the Buddhist Development in Mongolia”

3. Mr. Glenn H. Mullin (Ngapka Maitri Zopa), Independent Scholar

"Mongolian Buddhism Present and Past: Reflections on Culture at a Historical Crossroads"

Glenn H. Mullin is a Tibetologist, Buddhist writer, translator of classical Tibetan literature, and teacher of Tantric Buddhist meditation. He divides his time between writing, teaching, meditating, and leading tour groups to the power places of Nepal and Tibet.

Glenn is the author of over 20 books on Tibetan Buddhism. Many of these (published by Snow Lion Publications, Ithaca, NY) focus on the lives and works of the early Dalai Lamas. Glenn has also curated a number of important Tibetan art exhibitions. The first of these, “The Art of Compassion,” was created for Tibet House in New Delhi, and toured Europe for two years. As well as leading tour groups to the Buddhist power places of Nepal and Tibet, Glenn acts as consultant and advisor to independent groups wanting to travel safely and meaningfully through these sacred sites.

4. Rev. Purevdorj Jamsran

"Development of Christianity in Mongolia During the Last Twenty Years"

Rev. Jamsran is Principal of Union Bible Theological College and Pastor of the Bayariin Medee Christian Church.

5. Ven. Telo Rinpoche

“Buddhism Among the Kalmyk People”

Telo Rinpoche is Shadjin Lama of Kalmyk Republic and the Russia President of the Buddhist Union of Kalmykia, Russia


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Introduction for Day 2:

Dr. S. Tumir-Ochir, President, National University of Mongolia

Session 3: Mining, Political Economy, and Environmental Sustainability

Moderator for Session 3:

Dr. Bulgan Janchivdorj and Ms. Chinbat Emgen, General Customs Administration


1. Dr. Khashchuluun Chuluundorj

"Mongolia Twenty Years after Transition"

Khashchuluun Chuluundorj, PhD is Chairman of the National Development and Innovation Committee, Government of Mongolia.

2. Ms. Enkhtuya Oidov

"Development by Design: tools to Mitigate Mining Impact in Mongolia"

Ms. Oidov is Director of the Nature Conservatory and a Board Member of the Open Society Forum.

3. Dr. Jonathan Addleton

"The Challenges Never End: Managing Economic, Political and Environmental Concerns During a Period of Rapid Change"

Talk Summary in Mongolian

Jonathan Addleton, currently US Ambassador to Mongolia, served as USAID Mission Director in Ulaanbaatar during 2001 - 2004. His other long term Foreign Service assignments have taken him to Pakistan, Cambodia, Yemen, Jordan, Belgium, Kazakstan and South Africa.

Addleton is a life member of both the Mongolia Society and the Nature Conservancy. He has a PhD from Tufts University (Medford, MA) and a BS from Northwestern University (Evanston, IL). His publications include many articles on Asia and two books, "Undermining the Center" (Oxford University Press) and "Some Far and Distant Place" (University of Georgia Press).

Special Presentation:

Ven. Arjia Rinpoche

“Past and Present: The Practice of Compassion”

Talk summary in Mongolian

At the age of two, Arjia Rinpocheem was recognized by the 10th Panchen Lama as the throne holder and abbot of Kumbum Monastery. During the Cultural Revolution, he was forced to attend Chinese schools and worked in a labor camp for 16 years. Following the Cultural Revolution, Rinpoche continued serving as Abbot of Kumbum--overseeing the renovations in the monastery and reestablishing monastic studies.

In 1998, due to the strained political climate in Tibet, Rinpoche escaped to the United States and started the Tibetan Center for Compassion and Wisdom in Mill Valley, California. In 2005, he was appointed Director of the Tibetan Mongolian Buddhist Cultural Center in Bloomington, Indiana by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama.

Session 4: Impact of Socio-political and Cultural Change on Mongolian Lifestyles

Moderator for Session 4:

Ms. Tuya Shagdar

Ms. Shagdar has a MA in Comparative Literature, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and is currently Director of International Relations, American Center for Mongolian Studies Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.


1. Dr. David Sneath

“The Construction of Collective Identities and Post-Socialist Political Mobilization in Mongolia”

David Sneath completed his PhD at Cambridge University in 1991, studying social, economic and political change among Mongolian pastoralists in Inner Mongolia, China. He went on to conduct postdoctoral research on environment and society in Mongolia and Inner Asia, winning a British Academy Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in 1994. In 1998 he took up a Lectureship in Anthropology and Development at Oxford University, and in 2000 returned to the department of Social Anthropology at Cambridge, where is was Director of the Mongolia and Inner Asia Studies Unit until 2009 when he was appointed Head of Department.

2. Dr. Narmandakh Damdinjav

"Some Issues related to Sustainable Livelihood of Mongolians"

Dr. Narmandakh is currently Head of Labor Relations Division, Employer Association of Mongolia. He has been an economist at the Cabinet Secretariat of the Mongolian People’s Republic, Senior Coordinator of the Association of Mongolian Trade Unions and Vice President of the Association of Mongolian Trade Unions.

3. Dr. Daniel Murphy

“Encountering the Franchise State: Cross-Boundary Resource Use in Rural Mongolia”

Dr. Murphy is currently Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Society and Conservation at the University of Montana where he conducts research on climate change vulnerability and adaptive capacity in forest-dependent communities of the Rocky Mountain west of the US. His doctoral dissertation research and most recent publications focus on environmental governance, resource politics, and disaster vulnerability in rural Mongolia.

4. Dr. Namjil Tumur-Ochir

"Why International Study of the Mongolian Family Should be Further Supported and Developed"

Namjil Tumur-Ochir, PhD is a professor at Ulaanbatar Univ. (Family Studies)


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Day 3 Introduction:
Dr. Richard Taupier

Moderator for Day 3
Dr. Jamie Hubbard

Jamie Hubbard is the Yehan Numata Professor of Buddhist Studies at Smith College where he has taught since 1985. He has a long interest in the relationship between text, rhetoric, and institution, particularly in the social–political realm involving questions of heresy and orthodoxy. Previous publications include The Manuscript Remains and Other Materials for the Study of the San–chieh Movement (2003), Absolute Delusion, Perfect Buddhahood: The Rise and Fall of a Chinese Heresy (2001), and Pruning the Bodhi Tree: The Storm Over Critical Buddhism (1997). Previous publications include The Manuscript Remains and Other Materials for the Study of the San–chieh Movement (2003), Absolute Delusion, Perfect Buddhahood: The Rise and Fall of a Chinese Heresy (2001), and Pruning the Bodhi Tree: The Storm Over Critical Buddhism (1997). He is currently finishing a translation of the commentary on the Vimalakïrti–nirdesa–sûtra attributed to Shõtoku Taishi. He helped to organize the "Buddhism in Mongolia: Rebirth and Transformation" conference held at Smith College in 2009.

Session 5: Mongolia as a Asian Crossroads: Arts, Culture and Ideology

1. Dr. Ann W. Norton

“Mongolian Arts of the Spirit: Renewal after Persecution”

Talk summary in Mongolian

Ann W. Norton, Ph.D., received her B.A. from Mount Holyoke College and her graduate degrees from New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts. She also holds a Diploma in Jungian Psychology from the C.G. Jung Institute for Jungian Psychology, Zurich. She is Professor of Humanities in Art History and Asian Studies Advisor at Providence College.

Professor Norton has curated numerous exhibitions and has lectured widely in her specialty, “Art after War and Cultural Trauma.” Most recently she visited Afghanistan (2007) and Mongolia (2010) to research contemporary arts as examples of renewal. Resulting exhibitions included The Spirit of Afghanistan: Carpets of War and Hope (University of Connecticut, 2009) and The Arts of Outer Mongolia (Providence College, 2010).

2. Ms. Lham Purevjav

“Morality of Buddhist Monks in Banner Governor Rule in Qalqa Mongolia”

Talk summary in Mongolian

Purevjav Lham is a researcher at the Department of Ethnology and Anthropology, Institute of History, Mongolian Academy of Sciences. Her interest area is social and cultural functions of Buddhism in Qing Mongol and early modernization, modernization in Mongolia. Lham Purevjav is author of book Mongolyin Burkhanii Shashinii Aman Tuuh (Oral History of Mongolian Buddhism), Ulaanbaatar, 2010 and she presented the papers “Ritual and Qing Administration: Sending Buddhist Monks to Yong He Gong and Dolonnur Monastery”, in International Conference “Mongolian Historical Sources and Khotogoid Chingunjav”, Ulaanbaatar, July 19-20, Mongolia Anthropological Perspectives in Mongolian Studies, in conference “Anthropology and Social Theory” May 31-June 4, 2010, Chita, Russian Federation “Offering Ritual and Social Mobility in Mongolia in 18-19th Centuries”, in the 16th Congress of the International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences”, Kunming, China, 27-30, July, 2009; “Economic Practices of Buddhist Monasteries in Mongolia, 18-19 centuries”at the conference “Contemporary Approaches to the Study of Mongolian Buddhism”, Oriental Institute, University of Oxford, Balliol College, May 6, 2009; “Decentralization and Post-Socialist Networks in Mongolia” in the Fourth Chinese Grassland Culture Forum. Hohot: Grassland Culture Society of China, 2008.

3. Mr. Bat-Amgalan Baatarjav, Historian, Tod Nomyn Gerel

"Minority or Baga Yastan in Mongolia – Massive Hidden Influence on Human Rights and Culture"

Talk summary and bio in Mongolian

Bat-Amgalan Baatarjav was born in 1972 in Uvs province of Mongolia. He has finished his secondary school in 1990, and became an English student at the Foreign Language Institute of Mongolia. (former “Institute of the Russian Language”) He graduated as one of the first English teachers in Mongolia, and started his career as an English Teacher at the Economic College of Mongolia (currently, the Institute of Economics and Finance), then at the “Institute of Administration & Management Development”, Government of Mongolia (current Academy of Management) as a Foreign Relation Liaison. In April 1997 he has joined the “Erel” Co.,Ltd, the leading gold mining group, which had various sector activities in construction, production of building materials, education and media. He served “Erel” for 4 years, starting as a translator and has worked as the head of the Foreign Relation Department, until 2001, when he started his own business and career. He has an experience of scientific researcher from his student years, where he started to write about the “Traditional belief of the Mongols”, “Traditional culture and religion of Native Americans”, “Influence of the traditional belief to the youth education of Mongolia”.

In 2006, he started the non-government organization to run a research on the western Mongolia - Oirad language dialect, history, culture and religion, and started an active study and promotion of the Tod Mongol Script. He has served as the Chairman of the “Tod Nomun Gerel” Center for the last 5 years, and this organization had published 20 books as the known scientific serial in Mongolia and internationally, called “Bibliotheca Oiratica”, 4 books as the “Biography Serica” and organized 8 (eight) international scientific conferences in Mongolia and abroad.

4. Dr. Rustam Sabirov

“Buddhism in Buryatia: History and Contemporary Situation"

Talk summary in Mongolian

Rustam Sabirov holds a Ph.D. in history (2004) from Moscow State University's Institute of Asian and African Studies and is currently a senior researcher at Moscow State University. The subject of his dissertation was "The Religious Situation in Mongolia: the end of the 1980s–2000." Since 2005, Rustam Sabirov has taught at the Institute of Asian and African Studies, including History of Mongolia, History of Religions in Mongolia, Mongolia in the System of the International Relations, and Ethnology of Mongolia. He continues to focus his research on contemporary religion in Mongolia.


Session 6: Interpreting Mongolian Buddhist History: Why the Past Matters

1. Dr. Batsaikhan Ookhnoi

"Mongolia’s National Revolution of 1911 and the last emperor of Mongolia VIII Bogdo Jetsundamba Khutukhtu"

Talk summary in Mongolian

Ookhnoi BATSAIKHAN is a Research fellow and Head of the Russian department, Institute of International Studies, Mongolian Academy of Sciences. His research interests lie in the modern area of international relations in Asia in the 20th Century, with emphasis in the around Mongolia, and complex historical area analysis. He also has an active interest in the area knowledge of the secret history Sino – Soviet relations. He is interested in developing and analyzing Mongolian international history from the end of the 19th Century to the beginning of the 20th Century for problems in these areas. He regularly does research in archives and libraries of countries as Mongolia, Russia, Taiwan, German, Japan, Korea and UK. He also did extensive research in Tohoku University, Japan and Cambridge University, UK.

His last books:
O.Batsaikhan. Bogdo Jebtsundamba Khutuktu, The last king of Mongolia, Research work, UB: Admon, 2009, 406 pages.

In English -
O.Batsaikhan. Mongolia: Becoming a Nation State (1911-1946), UB: Admon press, 2005, second edition in 2007.
O.Batsaikhan. Mongolian independence and Kiakhta Agreement of 1915 Between China, Russia and Mongolia; UB: Admon press, 2002, second edition in 2007.

2. Ms. Krizstina Teleki

"Buddhist Ceremonies in the Mongolian Capital City Before the Purges and After the Revival"

Krisztina Teleki is currently a research fellow at the Inner-Asian Department of Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Hungary. She received her MA in Tibetan and Mongolian majors at the same department as well as her PhD in 2009. She wrote her PhD thesis about the old monasteries and temples of the Mongolian monastic capital city, and her present project is aimed at the study of its remained heritage. She has been to Mongolia 7 times since 1999 to study the past and present of Mongolian Buddhism using archives sources, documenting oral history and monastic ruins, and researching present-day monastic life.

Her recent publications are: On the Current Condition of 190 Old and Present-Day Monastic Sites in the Mongolian Countryside, Zentralasiatische Studien, Bonn 2011, pp. 93-140.; Building on ruins, memories and persistence: Revival and survival of Buddhism in the countryside, In: Silk Road 7, Seattle 2009, pp. 64-73. (also; Origin and Spread of Buddhism in Buryatia: A Text of Buyandalai dooramba, In: Acta Orientalia Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae (AOH) 61 (2008), Budapest, pp. 521-541.; Niislel khüreend baisan süm khiidüüd (Monasteries existed once in Niislel khüree), Lam nariin setgüül 4., Ulaanbaatar, pp. 86-94.; Lam nariin setgüüliin 26 ond (1936) ankh garsan dugaar (The first volume of the Journal of the Lamas, published in 1936), Lam nariin setgüül 4, Ulaanbaatar, pp. 193-199.; parts of

3. Mr. Gankhuyag Magsarjav

"Mongolian Buddhist Education: Past and Present"

Talk Summary in Mongolian

Mr. Magsarjav is Head of Research and Academic Affairs, Zanabazar Institute of Religious Studies. Gankhuyag studied at the Institute of Religious Studies in 1996-2008, School of Foreign Language and Culture at the National University of Mongolia in 2001-2004 and completed a Master of Arts in Linguistics program at the Ulaanbaatar University in 2004. He also completed a liguistic studies course at the University of Delhi in 2006-2007.

4. Dr. Richard Taupier

"Mongols and Oirats as Peacekeepers: Buddhist Warriors Behind the Lotus Throne"

Talk Summary in Mongolian

Rick Taupier, PhD, works for the University of Massachusetts Amherst as Associate Director for Research Development. He holds a PhD in Regional Environmental Planning and an MS in Environmental Economics, both from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Rick is also a PhD candidate in History, with a focus on Central Asian Buddhist cultures, particularly Mongolian and Tibetan political and cultural history. He has done extensive research in the adoption of Buddhism by both eastern and western (Oirat) Mongolian people and the extent to which Buddhist ideology shaped Mongolian and Oirat politics. His research activities in environmental and cultural sustainability led to a recent focus on the sustainability of Mongolian herding families. In 2009 and 2010 he was a Senior Fulbright Specialist at the National University of Mongolia.