Mongols From Country to City

Floating Boundaries, Pastoralism and City Life in the Mongol Lands

edited by Ole Bruun & Li Narangoa

  • Published:
  • Pages: 332 pp.
  • illustrated
  • Series number: 34
Available from NIAS Press worldwide

Analyses the process of cultural change both in Mongolia and the wider Mongol lands in China and Russia since the early twentieth century.

• Analyses cultural change not only in Mongolia but also in the wider Mongol lands in China and Russia.

• Brings focus and a wealth of new material not previously published to a previously sparse and fragmented field of study.


• Combines the work of several internationally recognized scholars with that of a group of young but innovative new scholars.

This volume examines the process of cultural change in Mongol societies since the early 20th century by considering the interaction of the basic structural features of pastoral nomadism in Mongolia with larger economies, both communist and capitalist; the effect of deliberate cultural reconstruction (ranging from changes to the education system to purges and outright cultural destruction) on the conduct of the pastoral economy; and the efforts of Mongols themselves to develop aspects of their own cultural identity under conditions of territorial partition, episodes of intense political repression, and (in the Russian and Chinese regions) very substantial immigration by non-Mongol groups. In particular, this volume will examine those modernization processes entailed in urbanization, secularization, industrialization, democratization and national identity formation. A central question is to what extent these take a different shape in a pastoral society as compared to an "ordinary" sedentary agricultural society.

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Ole Bruun is Associate Professor at Roskilde University’s Institute for Society and Globalization. Besides working on fengshui and Asian perceptions of nature in general, he is a leading scholar on Mongolian studies.

Ole Bruun is Associate Professor at Roskilde University’s Institute for Society and Globalization. Besides working on fengshui and Asian perceptions of nature in general, he is a leading scholar on Mongolian studies.

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by Sarah Dunlop, Pillar Valley, NSW
From journal:
The China Journal

This collection explores the tension between the urban and pastoral worlds.

The essays are an interesting collection.

This collection explores the tension between the urban and pastoral worlds.

The essays are an interesting collection.

This book is also a passioniate plea for those with power in  Mongolia (government and foreign donors) to take pastoralism seriously: too little attention has been paid to the support services that are necessary to make this sector viable and to assist herders who are facing extreme challenges today.

by Michael Walther
From journal:
Asienforum International Quarterly for Asian Studies

‘This collection of articles providews an impressive account of contemporary societal change in Mongolia against its historical background.’ 

‘This collection of articles providews an impressive account of contemporary societal change in Mongolia against its historical background.’ 

‘I can recommend the book to everyone wishing to familiarize himself with the complexities of Mongolian life and gain a better understanding of the present situation in this youg democratic country.’

by Bin Wong
From journal:
University of California in China Information, Vol.22,

“Together, the authors offer us penetrating views into the ways in which pastoral society connects with urbanization and industrialization as cultural identities and political possibilities are both

“Together, the authors offer us penetrating views into the ways in which pastoral society connects with urbanization and industrialization as cultural identities and political possibilities are both being reshaped. Given the relative paucity of scholarship on Mongols available in book form, this volume is a welcome and much needed addition to the scholarship we have.”

by Alan Sanders
From journal:
Asian Affairs

“…of intrinsic interest.”

“…of intrinsic interest.”

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