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Background to our project: In the last few years Mongolia has been one of the fastest growing economies
in the world with soaring GDP growth
and foreign investment due to the country’s vast mineral reserves. However,
the decline of the global commodity super-cycle, coupled with the slowdown of
the Chinese economy, has signalled a dramatic passing
of this era.
Life in Mongolia is now increasingly characterised
by a continuous state of volatility or flux. What were once thought to be
givens have been suspended, and certain visions of the future stalled. People talk
of an impending ‘crisis, but what format this crisis will take, or what beginning
or end it may have is essentially unknown. The idea of crisis manifest as a low
hum in the imagination of individuals as they go about making their own worlds in
this new terrain.
This 5-year ERC- funded project is composed of ten
researchers exploring the emerging subjects of this new era of global
economic flux. These include how people
negotiate resources in shifting landscapes, access to infrastructure and
bureaucracy; emergent relations between state, society, and mining companies; the
access and use of loans and investments; the politics of debt and crisis; and
national and individual trading strategies. In doing so we reveal how
current economic transformations come to shape and are being shaped by people
at different registers and scales.
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 […]