The Mongolia & Inner Asia Studies Unit was founded in 1986 as a group within the Department of Social Anthropology to promote research and teaching relating to Mongolia and Inner Asia on an inter-disciplinary basis. The unit aims to promote and encourage study of this important region, and to provide training and support for research to all those concerned with its understanding. It is currently one of the very few research-oriented forums in the world in which scholars can address the contemporary and historical problems of the region. The unit is also also concerned with how ‘Inner Asia’ as an object of study is being reconfigured, from the late-19th Century discourse of orientalism to contemporary critical studies of economic and cultural transformations. 

MIASU supports collaborative and individual research projects at postgraduate and higher levels and is committed to ‘hands-on’ research with the highest academic standards. To achieve this we operate through knowledge of local languages and in collaboration with scholars and institutions of the region. Good understanding and fresh perspectives are best attained by interaction, and the Unit therefore maintains links with numerous international organisations and welcomes members whose own background lies in Inner Asia. Of particular interest to the Unit are studies on:

* Political formations in regional contexts of Inner Asia
* The Book – Tibetan and Mongolian Sacred books: text, technologies and transmission
* The person, subject and individual in Inner Asian Cultures
* Cities and borders – interfaces and interactions across political frontiers in Inner Asia
* Pastoralism, land-use and climate change