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Yastan’ (Ethnicity) and National Unity in Mongolia

Yastan’ (Ethnicity) and National Unity in Mongolia

This project will investigate the issue of Mongolia’s national unity which is now beset by the category of ‘ethnicity’ (yastan in Mongolian) which has been officially used since the 1950s both for conducting population censuses and as an aid to building a so-called ‘Socialist Mongolian Nation’. The introduction of this category to characterise the intra-Mongolian group relationship has inadvertently undermined the unity of the Mongol groups – all of whom declared their allegiance to the new Mongolian state founded in December 1911 based on their self-understanding as Mongol. It has institutionalised the monopoly by the Halh – the numerically dominant group – of the ‘Mongol’ identity, and marginalised more than 20 other groups as less Mongol or even non-Mongol.

ESRC Impact Acceleration Fund (2018–2019) –  Dr U Bulag

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