Research Projects on Mongolia

Below you can find an overview of the Leiden research projects on Mongolia.


Go to: The History of Perestroika in Central Asia (social transformation in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Mongolia, 1982-1991)

Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

Project title: Skill & Survival in Northern Mongolia
Covered countries: Mongolia, China
Start date project: 09/2008
End date project: 09/2012
Organization granting the project: NWO
Project type within the granting organization: TopTalent
Keywords relevant to the project: Skill, Mobile Pastoralism, Environmental Perception, Ontology
Researchers involved: Richard Fraser, PhD Candidate, Institute Cultural Anthropology & Development Sociology
Short project summary: The research assesses the implications of environmental conservation upon the Darhad of northern Mongolia. Here the postsocialist implementation of a market-economy has dramatically affected peoples relationships to the environment, particularly mobile-pastoralists who must negotiate new restrictions placed on land-use. Developing a phenomenologically-grounded conception of human-environment relatedness, Fraser analyses the effects of conservation upon differing Darhad actors, including pastoralists, hunters, and village-dwellers, specifically at the level of embodiment and practice. Here the concept of ‘skill’ is employed to analyse transformations in Darhad practical capabilities, such as pastoralists altering their migration routes in accordance with conservation recommendations and former pastoralists developing new skills in becoming ‘settled’ village-dwellers. In the process, the project deconstructs normative accounts of ‘Traditional Ecological Knowledge’ and posits a dynamic approach that acknowledges differing kinds of enskilment and deskilment. Through this the project considers the relationship between ‘global’ environmental discourse and north-asian ontologies, analysing the impact of conservation upon Darhad religious life, shamanism, human-animal relations, and conceptualisations of personhood.
Publications (ISBN): Inner Asia
Leiden organization conducting the project: Institute Cultural Anthropology & Development Sociology
Name of contact person: Richard Fraser
Postal address of contact person: Faculteit der Sociale Wetenschappen Instituut Culturele Antropologie en Ontwikkelingssociologie Po
Phone of contact person: +31-(0)6-11646552
E-mail of contact person:
URL project website:

Last Modified: 28-10-2011