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Ideologies of mortgage financing in Mongolia

By Rebekah Plueckhahn, on 16 March 2018

Rebekah Plueckhahn is a Research Associate on the Emerging Subjects Team at UCL – Anthropology. This post draws from research that forms part of her book Shaping Urban Futures in Ulaanbaatar forthcoming with UCL Press.

Visiting Mongolia in November-December 2017, many people I spoke to were preoccupied with the topic of the current influence of the recently implemented oversight by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and their influence in numerous sectors of Mongolian economic governance as they prepared to make sizable loans to the country. The influence of the IMF is currently extending into a vast number of areas, including macroeconomics, national ministries, as well as Ulaanbaatar municipal budgets. One area that had implications across these areas was the IMF’s current recommendations for the systems of financialisation that have made Mongolia’s 8% mortgage (ipotek) program possible through Mongolia’s secondary mortgage market.

As part of their recommendations, the management of Mongolia’s secondary mortgage market is being transferred away from Mongol Bank (the Central Bank of Mongolia), to the government, in particular, the Ministry of Finance (IMF 2017, 15 and 67). This has come as part of redefinitions and restructurings of the role of Mongol Bank vis a vis the Mongolian government, that has been cemented through the recently passed amendments to the töv bankny tuhai huul’ or the Law on the Central Bank of Mongolia. Part of these restructurings has been attempts to increase the central bank’s independence from government, including limiting its influence in state budgets, and putting measures in place so that it can better act as an agent of government, more involved in price stability rather than inflation and exchange rates (IMF 2017, 44). Talking with people and reading about these types of restructurings brought into view different anticipatory conceptual ideals of what an economy or financial arrangements should look like or become. The IMF recommendations followed their Safeguards Assessment of 2017, an initiative that encourages standardisation of central banks internationally. This forms part of a much longer history of central banks worldwide becoming institutions that adhere to the ‘rules and rhythms of the market’ rather than political influence (Bear 2015, 190-193). Mongolian parliament member D. Damba-Ochir, quoted in news outlet montsame.mn, stated that the amendments to the law on the central bank will encourage togtvortoi baidal or stability in times of financial crisis (ediin zasgiin hyamral). Another person I spoke to said the move to transfer the ipotek program to the Ministry of Finance was done to encourage sustainability.

Expanding monetary circulations

Hearing these updates at the end of 2017 gave me an opportunity to reflect upon other perceptions on the roles and make-up of Mongolia’s secondary mortgage market and the ethics of mortgage provision. It also gave me a chance to reconsider the links between these factors and the ways this scheme has unfolded and manifested throughout areas of Mongolia’s systems of financialisation, built environments and personal spheres. During the course of my research from 2015-2017, different manifestations of economic ideologies have proliferated throughout the entangled assemblage of actors that comprise Mongolia’s banking and construction sectors. Through following different, interlinked forms of monetary circulation (möngönii ergelt) that allow people to access apartment mortgage financing, what I was alerted to were the different and sometimes (but not always) competing perceptions of how things should be and how the housing ‘market’ should be formed.

Out of the multiple influences of a slowly emerging housing finance program during the 2000s, initiated partly through assistance from the Asian Development Bank and USAID, as well as a hugely increased housing stock brought on by Mongolia’s speculative boom in foreign direct investment from 2009-2012, Mongolia’s mortgage ipotek system was launched in 2013 as an attempt to reconcile the huge demand for housing and the lack of affordable mortgage financing then available. This mortgage system, run by the Mongolian Mortgage Corporation (Mongolyn Ipotekiin Korporatsi) (MIK), provided an interlinked secondary mortgage market through funds issued by the Central Bank of Mongolia to participating commercial banks, allowing them to issue 8% interest ipotek (mortgages).

The 8% interest ipotek is the only kind of more affordable form of housing finance available on the market in Mongolia. It is also quite new. The alternative, for apartments bigger than 80sqm, is to take out a oron suutsnii bankny zeel (apartment bank loan), a loan drawn from savings within commercial banks themselves (savings-based loan), which is often offered at 17-20% interest and a shorter time frame in which to pay it back. For the 8% interest ipotek mortgage, the 30% deposit and the considerable employment history required in order to qualify for it means that this option often does not meet the intended market of low-middle income buyers, nor has it allowed a great deal of people from the peri-urban ger areas of Ulaanbaatar to access apartments. However, among people who can afford it, the demand has been, and remains, extremely high. However, due to a depreciation of the Mongolian tögrög and a lack of funds to inject in the system, the issuance of the 8% ipotek loan from the central system has been varying, including it being paused at the end of 2015, and resumed in varying ways at different points since.

Discussing 8% ipotek mortgage issuance with loan officers at different banks in November 2017, I was informed about the high demand for these mortgages and the fact that some customers are still waiting for money to appear even though their mortgages had been approved a year ago. Attempts to meet this high demand have given rise to different kinds of monetary circulation in order to make this possible. Expanding beyond the secondary mortgage market, within Mongolia the systems of financialisation and monetary links comprise of an ever-expanding set of circulations, arrangements, exchanges and connections. While the economy has stalled, the 8% interest mortgage has remained a kind of idealised form of housing finance regardless of the changing nature of the systems that support it or the fluctuating levels of funding different economic institutions receive.

One such way to meet this demand has been the cooperation between banks and construction companies in an attempt to maintain the 8% ipotek mortgage as an option. Speaking with a loan officer in a bank in Ulaanbaatar, they told me how customers can qualify for 8% interest house loan through their bank if they buy an apartment in buildings built by particular construction companies. This circulation of money between a bank, an individual and a construction company allows construction companies a better chance of attracting customers in order to recoup construction costs through attempting to meet the high demand that the system will no longer support. These ‘circulations’ sometimes consist of the conversion of other forms of capital into an expanded type of circulatory network. As seen in the following advertisement posted in January 2017, this construction company at that time received land (including compensating for self-built buildings or baishin) and cars in lieu of a 30% down payment (urd’chilgaa tölbör):

Figure 1: In January 2017, a construction company advertises a variety of different and flexible conditions on acquiring an 8% interest mortgage through their partner bank, including items that can be accepted in lieu of a deposit. They promise a ‘quick decision’ on apartment loan applications.

Considering the construction company’s role in promoting arrangements like this expands our understandings of how Mongolia’s secondary mortgage market can be conceptualised and redefined. During fieldwork in 2015 and 2016, construction companies were often engaging in forms of bartering of cars and building materials in order to complete projects and sell apartments. Collaborating with banks forms another aspect of doing business.

Expanding ideologies

Such a collaboration between a bank and construction company that provides a different way of financing of a singular (relatively) affordable option allows banks to continue to participate in a form of mortgage financing in the hope that the secondary mortgage market will become increasingly reliable. The idealisation of 8% interest ipotek mortgage extends not only for its ability for a wider group of non-elite people to buy apartments, but also an idealisation of the system itself and what it can bring to the Mongolian economy. Echoing in a different way the IMF stance outlined above, one loan officer told me the secondary mortgage market could ‘ediin zasagiin zöv goldrild oruulah,’ or ‘turn the economy onto the proper course.’ While people are also skeptical of the different arrangements making mortgage financing possible, in the minds of many people the system initiated by the Central Bank exists in its potentiality as much as its practice. Mongolia’s secondary mortgage system is quite new, and like other arrangements and entanglements that make up the mortgage market, it is still in the making. In the meantime, people rely on other connections (Narantuya and Empson, forthcoming), that support this system from within (Maurer 2012, 414). Its proposed transfer to the Ministry of Finance in September 2018 (IMF 2017, 47), will form another substantiation of this network’s financialisation that will undoubtedly give rise to new political and economic relationships, connections and circulations. These, like other forms of financialisation, will further shape this nascent but important network and continue to expand and give rise to different economic ideologies within Mongolia.

I’d like to sincerely thank Batbayaryn Erdenezayaa for her assistance with this research.

References:

Bear, Laura. 2015. Navigating Austerity: Currents of Debt Along a South Asian River. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press.

Bumochir Dulam. 2016. “The Politics of the Mortgage Market in Mongolia.” Emerging Subjects Blog, 29th January 2016. https://blogs.ucl.ac.uk/mongolian-economy/2016/01/29/the-politics-of-the-mortgage-market-in-mongolia/. Accessed 5th February 2018.

International Monetary Fund. 2017. “Mongolia – First and Second Reviews under the Extended Fund Facility – Press Release; Staff Report; and Statement by the Executive Director for Mongolia.” Washington DC. December 2017. https://www.imf.org/en/Publications/CR/Issues/2017/12/21/Mongolia-First-and-Second-Reviews-Under-the-Extended-Fund-Facility-Press-Release-Staff-45505

Maurer, Bill. 2012. “The Disunity of Finance: Alternative Practices to Western Finance.” In The Oxford Handbook of the Sociology of Finance, 413–30. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Narantuya, C. and Empson, R. (Forthcoming) ‘Networks and the Negotiation of Risk: Making Business Deals and People among Mongolian Small and Medium Businesses’ Central Asian Survey.

White Tower, Yellow Dog: Kheviin Boov as the Centerpiece of Exchange and Transformation – 2018 Tsagaan Sar Gift Index

By Guest Contributor , on 1 March 2018

This post was written by Jessica Madison-Pískatá and Marissa J. Smith as part of the annual Tsagaan Sar Gift Index.  Jessica Madison-Pískatá is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Anthropology at University of California, Santa Cruz. She is currently conducting fieldwork in Sukhbaatar aimag and Ulaanbaatar on post-human landscapes at sites of extraction.  Marissa J. Smith is a Visiting Fellow with the Emerging Subjects group at University College London

 

Watching Tsagaan Sar preparations in Mongolia via the internet, this year Marissa Smith noted a distinct concern with products that comprise the tavgiin idee or ‘table food’. This consists largely of hard bread (kheviin boov, ul boov, eeven), dairy products (tsagaan idee), candy, salads, beverages, and other edibles that form the centerpiece of household guesting tables. Though early in the season of social media posting about Tsagaan Sar it looked like golden dogs made of salt might steal the show, the star of this year’s holiday is clearly the boov.

 


Bankhar dogs made of salt, for the ‘Yellow Earth Dog’ year, atop the structures of boov and tsaagan idee that comprise the centerpieces of tavgiin idee.


Decrease

Smith suggests that this concern reflects the continued poor state of the Mongolian economy, in which ties with the household and a few immediate family members on the one hand and the Mongolian nation on the other hand are emphasized. Over the past three years, the UCL Emerging Subjects Tsagaan Sar Index has documented links between inflation, an increasingly devalued tugrug, and ever-growing personal debt on the one hand and changes in patterns of hosting and gifting during Tsagaan Sar on the other, particularly a trend towards gifting less and less. As in previous years, Tsagaan Sar is being celebrated with traditional, national Mongolian products, and with fewer and fewer durable (i.e. clothing such as Mongolian-made wool socks) rather than consumable goods (i.e. food and drink, and increasingly less expensive ones – perhaps a component of the focus this year on boov with almost no mention of meat at all), and with gifting less money.

In the eastern countryside, Jessica Madison-Pískatá observed a similar shift in gift-giving practices. In addition to fewer durable goods, she also observed a continuing shift away from high-prestige consumables that must be purchased in Ulaanbaatar (i.e. limited edition New Year’s negj prepaid phone cards, tea bags, and vitamins) to edible ones that can easily be procured locally.

The amounts of money spent and debt taken, according to studies shared by Mongolian researchers, particularly the Mongolian Marketing Consulting Group (shared by Rebecca Empson), are comparable to those of previous years, but with somewhat less money spent and more debt taken than in previous years.

 


The Mongolian Marketing Consulting Group reports that those polled said that boov were the Tsagaan Sar item people were least worried about, gifts for guests the most anxiety-provoking, and that the biggest challenge in buying Mongolian gifts was their expense (74 percent of respondents).

 

Seventeen percent increase, compared to last year, in households taking loans for Tsagaan Sar, infographic based on MMCG Data.

 

Tsagaan Sar expenditures by top, middle, and low-income households, MIRIM Consultant.

 

Perhaps most strikingly in contrast to past years, however, this year there is a notable focus on celebrating in one’s own household, as evidenced not only by the wealth of advertisements and conversations about tavgiin idee rather than gifts one would hand out to guests and obtain from hosts, but also by how the holiday was documented on social media. Rather than depict visits to other households, extended relations, friends, and coworkers, Mongolians seemed to be focusing on their immediate households and/or being more circumspect about making public whom they are connected with in what ways. (Evident to Smith through searching on Facebook for the popular greeting, Saikhan Shinleerei).

As many scholars of Mongolian sociality have emphasized, the wrong kinds of relations are not only ungenerative, they are anti-generative (Empson 2011, Empson and Delaplace 2007, High 2008, Hojer 2004, Pedersen 2011, Smith 2015). Showing the wrong kinds of Tsagaan Sar visits to the wrong people might contribute to claims on generosity and envious, malicious gossip, which undermine the relationships required to produce, reproduce, and exchange wealth, contributing to problems of excess, waste, and disease.

 

Excess, Waste, Disease

This year Smith also noted social media-based discourses of waste and harm associated with the celebration of Tsagaan Sar. Active members of the Facebook Group Expats in Mongolia, frequented by many long-term residents of Mongolia of foreign origin but who have married into Mongolian families, as well as Mongolian ‘re-pats’, levelled accusations about wasted kheviin boov, i.e. placed on ovoo rather than, as they argued it should be, distributed to people starving. The Twitter account of the Onom Foundation, an organization focusing on Mongolia’s world-record-busting liver disease statistics (and recently featured in a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation-funded article in The Guardian), posted an infographic listing the calorific content of popular Tsagaan Sar foods and what activities celebrants should do to ‘burn off’ the calories. (Interestingly, however, boov are not listed.)

 

Madison-Pískatá also saw a shift away from meat and vodka at the Tsagaan Sar table, not only as it was offered, but also consumed. Throughout her visits, she observed multiple instances of guests refusing vodka to little protest, a marked increase from previous years that seems to follow the national trend of cutting back on vodka in favor of lower alcohol content options. At one household, guests were offered Bulgan airag  (a high-prestige item, particularly in Sukhbaatar Province, where the vegetation is said to interfere with the flavor of mare’s milk) and red Bulgarian wine as an alternative to vodka. This is not to say that vodka does not still hold great ritual significance, and as in previous years, guests were still required to partake of the host’s vodka at least one to three times (depending on the age of the household—younger households hosting for the first time were more likely to hew closely to the customary three). However, visitors were not pressured to imbibe above the ‘ritual minimum’, especially if they were to cite health reasons for their refusal. Similarly, there was a decrease in both the serving and consuming of meat, especially sheep’s tail. Madison-Pískatá visited only one household that served tail on their Tsagaan Sar table, from which, despite the daughter reporting a steady stream of guests all day, there was only one small shaving eaten.

As is indicated in the data from the Onom Foundation, this concern does not extend to boov. In addition to boov and airag being increasingly swapped out for meat and vodka, wine and fish were also added to many Sukhbaatar Tsagaan Sar tables, bringing with them both the prestige of foreign products and the image of a kind of healthful exoticism. In the facebook group Chatnaa Okhindoo!’(‘You can do it, girls!’), where discussions often revolve around health and weight loss, both wine and fish are often brought up as part of healthy ‘foreign’ diets, most commonly as part of the trendy ‘Mediterranean Diet’, which is extolled as a panacea for good health and ‘wellness’, in the same breathless manner as it appears in women’s magazines in the Anglophone world.

These observations are in line with public ‘healthy lifestyle’ campaigns, women’s weight loss clubs, and a general concern with healthful eating that have been increasing in both number and relevance in Sukhbaatar Province over the last five or so years.  In Madison-Pískatá’s interpretation, this indicates an increase in the bargaining power of individual agency when leveraged in interest of the health and well-being of the individual body. This is not, as Buyandelger points out, part of a post-socialist ‘transition’ narrative that argues for a unilateral shift towards the ‘individual’ at the expense of the ‘community’. Rather, it appears to follow the idea that a healthful individual body directly contributes to the greater health of the community. In her work on air pollution protests in Ulaanbaatar, Chisato Fukuda also emphasizes how the bodily experience of air pollution, particularly miscarried pregnancy, has drawn individuals together in collective response.

Smith notes that, on the flip side, as disorder in the social and its governance is intimately associated with chronic disease and responses have entailed reordering the social, relations between the state and the people have been of central importance. In past years, initiatives by the Mongolian military, President, and members of Parliament to celebrate with milk rather than vodka gained traction (Jargalsaikhan 2012) that is not evident in connection with the liver disease NGO’s initiative. The importance of the government as an actor or set of actors to be chastised in these narratives centrally concerned with proper ordering of social and individual action to align with stateness (tur) is demonstrated in posts on the Emerging Subjects blog by D. Bumochir (on ritual ‘punishment’ of politicians for mishandling mining agreements), Kh. Uyanga (maternal responses to measles outbreaks and associated infant mortality that offered mutual assistance and reprimanded government health agencies, see also Fukuda 2017), Sh. Tuya (the taking up of the Paris Climate Accord ‘shoe protest’ to demonstrate a public reprimanding the government in Ulaanbaatar), and Hedwig Waters (on the articulation of these critiques also among those who would not publicly expose or elevate themselves by organizing protest marches).

 

Shortage, Exhaustion, and Counterfeit

Further emphasis on boov also is reflected in news that these were being branded, counterfeited and seized, and that there were shortages of boov.

On February 8, a week before the first day of Tsagaan Sar, Marissa Smith shared an article from The UB Post on Facebook, which detailed how Ulaanbaatar government inspectors had seized not only potentially unhygienic but also counterfeit goods, including boov sold as associated with the Gandan Monastery and pickles with fake ‘Vagro’ (an imported Eastern European brand) labels which would be used to make many of the salads that are often part of the Tsagaan Sar table.

In a comment on the article, Jessica Madison-Pískatá confirmed from Mongolia that there is indeed increased concern over such branding, and added that by the third day of the New Year, stores in Ulaanbaatar had completely run out of boov, bread, and anything else that might be used to construct the towers of tsagaan idee that center the Tsagaan Sar table. Madison-Pískatá shared a facebook posting showing stacks of European-style bread (talkh) being used in place of kheviin boov, reposted with a wry comment that indicated frustration at the poster’s inability to find even this ersatz (counterfeit?) foreign boov.

“Even though kheviin boov is unfindable here we have had a good Tsagaan Sar (lit. ‘renewed well’).  Are you all well?” Reposted with the comment:  “Nevermind kheviin boov, when you can’t even find bread” (lit. ‘bread isn’t even available to buy’).

 

Revaluation, Recharge

While this post has had an overwhelmingly pessimistic cast, Smith ends with an eye to regenerative, transformative potential.

During her fieldwork in Erdenet, during the Tsagaan Sar of 2012, when the mining professionals she worked with already well perceived the coming economic bust, coworkers whose homes Marissa had not visited during Tsagaan Sar brought boov from their households to the workplace to share during coffee and tea breaks. This practice continues in Sukhbaatar and Ulaanbaatar, at least as part of distinct but adjacent gift exchanges with foreign guests. In Sukhbaatar, Madison-Pískatá received two pieces of kheviin boov from the parents of a close friend, along with borts, Russian candy, and aarul, given as a thank you gift in exchange for bringing vitamins from the United States (in addition to Tsagaan Sar gifts); and an additional piece (along with a book of Mongolian folktales) in exchange for performing a song at a pre-Tsagaan Sar dinner for foreigners in Ulaanbaatar, organized by the American Center for Mongolian Studies. (It remains to be seen what will become of this year’s boov once the tables are disassembled.)

Arranged in layers, boov are a ‘multiple’ part of the Tsagaan Sar spread, a quality of aspects of shamanic costume that Joseph Bristley (2015) has called attention to. Writing specifically about coins (zoos) on these costumes, Bristley extends the argument of Morten Pedersen (2011) about ‘multiplicity’ in shamanic costume (drawing on Martin Holbraad’s 2005 discussion of money and ‘multiplicity’) and highlights the ‘transformative’ powers of not only the shamanic costume, but also the power of money (itself in the Mongolian context at least not in fact completely, Bristley points out, transformable). Boov, Smith suggests, have kinds of multiple power that are like that of money, but also different, just as Bristley differentiates between the multiple coins and the multiple mirrors that might be found on a shamanic costume.

In her work on ninja gold mining, Mette High discusses wealth objects (both pastoral wealth and mining money) as “objects that retain strong attachments to the spirit world.” High argues that this attachment ties these two forms of wealth together, particularly in the way in which the nature of the attachment affects perceptions of household prestige. In conversations with pre-Tsagaan Sar shoppers around Gandan monastery, Madison-Pískatá also observed a connection between wealth, prestige, and the spirit world, particularly in the connection between what one might call ‘spiritually prestigious’ spaces and places (e.g. the shar edlel shops around Gandan monastery) and prestigious goods. One shopper indicated that he was on his way to Gandan specifically to buy ‘Otgontenger’ brand incense for the holiday, explaining not only that buying from this area (as opposed to Naran Tuul market, for example) was the safest way to ensure the product itself was jinkhene (authentic, genuine, pure); but that sourcing it from Otgontenger mountain ensured that it would have the highest quality in terms of both smell and spiritual effect. Madison-Pískatá argues that the same might apply to other Tsagaan Sar consumables like boov. Household prestige is in this way linked directly to the spirit world via the spaces it travels through on its way up the supply chain: sourced from a certain holy place, purchased from a shop in a spiritually prestigious neighborhood, and brought to the ritual space of the Tsagaan Sar table.

How then are boov powerfully money-like and not-money-like? It seems indeed that for this Tsagaan Sar season at least, they are not just inherently multiple and multiplicable, but have been carriers (moreso than money, issued by a government that is currently not enjoying widespread legitimacy and not aligned with stateness?) of both state-associated monastic and mountain powers, charging networks of interpersonal relationships consolidating while also extending beyond the Mongolian nation (pickles and their salads may have been underemphasized in this post!), renewing them with productive potential.

 

Taking advantage of new year distraction, a cow sneaks into town (herd animals are banned from the center in an effort to curb the spread of hoof-and-mouth disease. Photo by Jessica Madison-Pískatá.

 

Watching Yag Tun Shig (a very popular signing competition) during a lull in visitation. Photo by Jessica Madison-Pískatá.

 

Greeting the sun on shiniin negen (the first of the new year). Photo by Jessica Madison-Pískatá.

 

References

Bayarsaikhan, Dulguun. Fake Labels Found on Tsagaan Sar Pastries. February 5, 2018.

Buyandelgeriyn, Manduhai, 2013. Tragic Spirits: Shamanism, Memory, and Gender in Contemporary Mongolia. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Bristley, Joseph, 2015. Transformation and Multiplicity: Zoos and the Power to Absorb Spirits in Mongolia. Inner Asia 17(1): 31-51.

  1. Bumochir. 2015. Mongolia’s Strategic Mine and the Conflict Between Civil Society, National Government, and Foreign Investors.

Empson, Rebecca, 2011. Harnessing Fortune: Personhood, Memory, and Place in Mongolia. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Empson, Rebecca and Gregory Delaplace, 2007. The Little Human and the Daughter-in-Law: Invisibles as Seen Through the Eyes of Different Kinds of People. Inner Asia 9(2): 197-214.

Empson, Rebecca, Liz Fox, and Bumochir Dulam, 2017. Tsagaan Sar Gift Index – 2017. Emerging Subjects Blog.

Empson, Rebecca et al., 2016. Tsagaan Sar Gift Index – 2016. Emerging Subjects Blog.

Empson, Rebecca, Uranchimeg Ujeed, et. al., 2015. Tsagaan Sar Gift Index – 2015. Emerging Subjects Blog.

Fukuda, Chisato, 2017. A Fight to Breathe. Medical Anthropology Quarterly.

Griffin, Hannah, Mongolia’s Liver Cancer Crisis: No Other Country Has A Problem Like This. November 7, 2017. The Guardian.

High, Mette, 2017. Fear and Fortune: Spirit Worlds and Emerging Economies in the Mongolian Gold Rush. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

High, Mette. 2008. “Wealth and Envy in the Mongolian Gold Mines. Cambridge Anthropology 27(3): 1-19.

Højer, Lars, 2004. The Anti-Social Contract: Enmity and Suspicion in Northern Mongolia. The Cambridge Journal of Anthropology 24(3): 41-63.

Holbraad, Martin, 2005. Expanding Multiplicity: Money in Cuban Ifá Cults. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 11(2): 231-254.

Jargalsaikhan, Mendee, 2012. Mongolia – Without Vodka, Cheers with Milk. Mongolia Focus.

Kh. Uyanga, 2016. Health and the Economy: Measles, ASEM, and the Elections. Emerging Subjects Blog.

Pedersen, Morten, 2011. Not Quite Shamans: Spirit Worlds and Political Lives in Northern Mongolia. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

Sh. Tuya, 2016. New Forms of Political Protests in Ulaanbaatar: Calling for Justice Through ShoesEmerging Subjects Blog.

Smith, Marissa J. Treasure Underfoot and Far Away: Mining, Foreignness, and Friendship in Contemporary Mongolia. PhD Dissertation, Princeton University. http://arks.princeton.edu/ark:/88435/dsp01z603r0748

Waters, Hedwig. 2016. The ‘Slow Violence’ of Inaction: on the Apathy Towards Air PollutionEmerging Subjects Blog.