Seminar – 3 March – Susanne Weigelin-Schwiedrzik

February 24th, 2015 by anna.c


Tuesday 3 March 2015

4.30–6.00 Mond Building Seminar Room

Susanne Weigelin-Schwiedrzik

University of Vienna

Central and Local Governments in the Border Regions of the PRC:

Public Health in Xinyuan County of the Yili Autonomous Prefecture

This presentation will draw on field studies among Kazakh herders in Xinyuan County to discuss the problems of health care for nomads. In the context of James Smith’s theory on the expansionist state it argues that health care as provided by the Chinese state can only reach the herders if they are willing to give up their nomadic lifestyle. The local government complies with central state policies of sedentarization, but the herders are not convinced of the “Chinese” lifestyle they are supposed to adapt. How does the researcher deal with this situation?  Should he or she take sides with the Chinese central state or the herders?

Lunchtime Seminar – 10 March – Agnieszka Joniak-Lüthi

February 24th, 2015 by anna.c

A lunchtime seminar will be held in the Mond Building Seminar Room, Free School Lane, Cambridge CB2 3RF

Tuesday 10 March 2015, 12.00–1.00

All welcome

Agnieszka Joniak-Lüthi

Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich

Production of Spatial Meaning and Shifting Geographies at China’s Northwestern Border

In the process of place-making, life experiences guide individuals to invest places with specific meanings. At the same time, ethnic and national collectives establish specific relationships with places; it is through this assignment of meaning that a place comes to be viewed as a “homeland,” “fatherland,” “native place,” “periphery,” “center” and so forth. Starting from the idea that places are socially constructed, in my talk I will explore how places are established and lived in Xinjiang by the members of the region’s two largest ethnicities, the Uyghur and the Han. While there are differences in the ways Han and Uyghur imagine and “live” Xinjiang, Uyghur and Han do not establish distinct spatial relationships only because of their ethnicity, but also to enhance ethnic solidarity and boundaries vis-à-vis the other. In the talk I will demonstrate that places are historically contingent, and discuss the ways in which the influx of Han migrants—and Han capital—has generated new layers of spatial meaning and new power differentials.

Seminar – 17 February – Françoise Robin

February 12th, 2015 by anna.c


Tuesday 17 February 2015

4.30–6.00 Mond Building Seminar Room

Françoise Robin

INALCO (National Institute of Oriental Languages and Civilisations)

From Lyricism to Sarcasm:

Settling Literary Accounts with Settlements in Tibet Today

Settlement policies targeting the pastoral rural Tibetan population have reached their momentum in the early 2010s, generating vocal protests and skepticism among anthropologists and environmentalists outside Tibet. This presentation will focus on literary accounts published in Tibet and in Tibetan language, which describe and elaborate upon this radical shift of paradigm. I will show how settlement policies and effects have gradually been created as a recurring literary object and how they have evolved over the last 10 years. The early, soft-voiced, poetic texts will be contrasted with a short story published in 2013 in a national literary magazine, Nationalities Literature, that contests the grand, official, state narrative of unidirectional progress and development through resettlement, by following the downfall of a family in the settlement process. Through this lecture, and relying on Martha Nussbaum’s reflexions about the value of fiction humanities, I hope to show how Tibetan-language literary productions, in the specific Tibetan context, can be integrated as tools for researching and assessing imaginings of social evolutions in Tibet today.

Seminar – 3 February – Rebekah Plueckhahn

January 27th, 2015 by anna.c


Tuesday 3 February

4.30–6.00 Mond Building Seminar Room

Rebekah Plueckhahn

University College London

Performing Value, Forming Resources:

Morality, Musical Performance and Social Continuation in Mongolia


How is value created through musical performance, cultural ownership claims, and a burgeoning resource economy in Mongolia? In this paper I argue that the creation of value in these activities forms part of a ‘political economy of performative acts’ that is of current concern for Mongolia as it negotiates the sale of its mineral resources. Attention to musical performance and cultural ownership claims form part of a larger ‘cultural resource management’ that occurs on a number of ‘national’ and ‘local’ scales. Examining these scales reveals different temporal positionings – with some looking to the past to define the present, while others using actions in the present in order to evoke a better future. Exploring the creation of value in this political economy of performative acts, this paper examines some aspects of the intermeshing of ‘local’ and ‘national’ scales in contemporary Mongolia.

Mongolia’s New Government December 2014 – News

January 22nd, 2015 by anna.c

A report by Alan Sanders for MIASU 18.12.14

Formation of Mongolia’s new coalition government December 2014

Mongolian President Elbegdorj’s 2014 drive for ‘smart government’ coincided with a long-running political argument in the Mongolian Great Khural (national assembly) whether members of the cabinet should also be members of parlIament, the so-called davkhar deel issue.

The government of Prime Minister Altankhuyag, which came to power in 2012, decided in October 2014 to cut the number of ministries by merging several of them, for example the Ministry of Economic Development with the Ministry of Finance. Seven ministers resigned, including Foreign Minister Bold, and the ruling Democratic Party (DP) and Justice coalition set about the nomination of new ministers. DP chairman Altankhuyag signed a long-term cooperation agreement with the Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party (MPRP), whose chairman, ex-president Enkhbayar, suspended his hospital treatment in Seoul to attend the signing ceremony in Ulan Bator.

However, on 5 November the Great Khural dismissed Prime Minister Altankhuyag, who resigned his chairmanship of the DP, and Speaker Enkhbold was chosen to replace him as DP leader. Contrary to the former practice of selecting the chairman of the majority party, on 21 November the Great Khural appointed as the Prime Minister Saikhanbileg, the Cabinet Secretary in the previous government. The opposition Mongolian People’s Party (MPP) initially declared that it would not cooperate with the DP in coalition with the MPRP, but changed its mind when the DP decided to consult all parliamentary parties about forming a new coalition. The result was an agreement by these parties to allocate ministers to a new set of ministries in proportion to the number of seats each party holds in the Great Khural: DP 10 posts, MPP 6, Justice 3 (MPRP 2, MNDP 1). The selection process was complicated by efforts to reduce the number of Great Khural members appointed to ministerial posts, acquiring a davkhar deel. The process of appointing the ministers began in the Great Khural on 5 December and was completed on 9 December. Ten of the 19 are Great Khural members, two are women.

Prime Minister: Chimediin Saikhanbileg, DP, MP

Deputy Prime Minister: Ukhnaagiin Khürelsükh, MPP (ex-General Secretary MPP)

Head, Cabinet Secretariat (Minister): Sangajavyn Bayartsogt, DP, MP (ex-Deputy Speaker)

Ministers – General Ministries:

Environment, Green Development and Tourism: Dulamsürengiin Oyuunkhorol, MPP, MP (f)

Finance: Jargaltulgyn Erdenebat, MPP, MP (chairman, budgetary control sub-committee)

Foreign Affairs: Lündegiin Pürevsüren, DP (former presidential foreign affairs aide)

Justice: Dambyn Dorligjav, DP (former Procurator General)

Ministers – Sectoral Ministries:

Construction and Urban Development: Damdiny Tsogtbaatar, MPP (ex-Secretary MPP)

Defence: Tserendashiin Tsolmon, Justice/MPRP, MP

Education, Culture and Science: Luvsannyamyn Gantömör, DP, MP

Food and Agriculture: Radnaagiin Burmaa, DP, MP (f)

Health and Sport: Gankhuyagiin Shiilegdamba, Justice/MPRP (General Secretary MPRP)

Industry: Dondogdorjiin Erdenebat, DP, MP

Labour: Sodnomyn Chinzorig, MPP (former MP)

Mining: Rentsendoogiin Jigjid, DP (former State Secretary in Mining Ministry)

Population Development and Social Welfare: Sodnomzunduin Erdene, DP, MP

Power: Dashzevegiin Zorigt, DP, MP

Roads and Transport: Namkhain Tömörkhüü, MPP (member Leadership Council MPP)

Minister without portfolio: Mendsaikhany Enkhsaikhan, Justice/MNDP (former Prime Minister)