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Inner Asia

SARR Conference, June 27 - 29, 2010, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
"Mongolians After Socialsim: Economic Aspiration, Political Development, and Cultural Identity"
A States at Regional Risk (SARR) Conference

Sponsors and Organizers

States at Regional Risk Project (SARR), Emory University, Atlanta, USA; Bruce M. Knauft, Ph.D., Director, SARR & S. C. Dobbs Professor of Anthropology, Emory University

The Open Society Forum, Mongolia (OSF); Erdenegargal Perenlei, Director and Gerelmaa Amgaabazar, Manager, Social Policy and Education Issues

Dr. Richard Taupier. Ph.D., Associate Director of Research Development, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

The SARR project is supported by the Carnegie Corporation of New York and additional conference support is also gratefully acknowledged from the Rubin Foundation in New York. We also thank the U.S. Embassy for hosting a reception on the first night of the conference, which brought various and diverse conference participants together.



The Inner Asia component of SARR focuses on Mongolia in relation to its neighbors, China and Russia. Often taken as a relative success story of post-socialist development, Mongolia is presently in a mining-induced economic boom, and the country has transformed substantially since effective Quito conference photo

Dr. Munkh-Erdene Lkhamsuren (Austrian Academy of Sciences)
and Ven. Khamba lama Gabju Choijamts Demberel
(Gandan Monastery)
independence from the early 1990s.  Problems of unemployment, reduction in state subvention and welfare services, alcoholism, and stressful reduction in the nomadic/pastoral livestock livelihood that is the full focus of life outside the capital of Ulaanbaatar complement the great growth of wealth and the resurgence of Buddhism – and of shamanism as well as the rise of evangelical Christianity.  These developments intensify the complicated stakes that surround the robust assertion of Mongolian nationalism, which draws upon a deep historical pride that stems from the legacy Genghis Khan.

After a pilot trip by the SARR director to Mongolia, the fourth SARR project conference, on Inner Asia, was held in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, June 27-29, 2011, with the title, "Mongolians After Socialism: Economic Aspiration, Political Development, and Cultural Identity." The conference was co-organized with the Open Society Forum of Mongolia (OSF) and with Dr. Richard Taupier of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Primary funding was provided by the Carnegie Corporation of New York. Additional support was provided by the Rubin Foundation of New York.

The conference itself was held in the OSF conference facility in the Mongolian capital, Ulaanbaatar, and involved speakers and discussants from several countries representing a variety of institutional affiliations. The 34 invited conference participants included the Mongolian National Security Advisor, the head of the Mongolian Planning Commission, a senior advisor to the Mongolian President, a member of the Mongolian Parliament, the US Ambassador to Mongolia, the Presidents of two leading Mongolian universities, the head Buddhist Lama of Mongolia, five further Buddhist and Christian leaders, four leading figures of Mongolian civil society organizations, five major Mongolian academics, and nine international scholars of Mongolia. Participants came from eight countries and included spokespersons concerning Mongolians in regional contexts outside Mongolia per se.

Click on Name for Conference Website:
"Mongolians after Socialism: Economic Aspiration, Political Development, and Cultural Identity"

In August 2012, an edited volume, Mongolians After Socialism:  Politics, Economy, Religion was published as a result of the conference in Ulaanbaatar by Admon Press in simultaneous English language and Mongolian language editions. All chapters in both languages are also available on our website. Click here for online version of the volume.

Click here for English version.

Click here for Mongolian version.

Quito conference photo

Dr. Richard Taupier (U.Mass., Amherst, Conference co-organizer), Hon. Jonathan Addleton
(United States Ambassador), Dr.S. Tumur-Ochir (President, National University of Mongolia),
Dr. Damdinsuren Bayanduuren (President, Mongolian University of Science and Technology)
at opening night reception at residence of US Ambassador.