Christopher Kaplonski's website on Anthropology of Mongolia
You can download several articles and papers on Anthropology of Mongolia on Christopher Kaplonski's website. He is currently doing research on concepts of democracy in Mongolia and political Violence and its legacy.
Among other things, I have looked at how different political parties confronted the issue of rehabilitation and compensation for the victims of political repression. Exactly who is a victim and who is not a victim raises important questions about identity and politics. Given the importance of this category to work on human rights, reconciliation, truth commissions and memory studies, it intrigues and puzzles me that it has been left almost completely unexamined in existing research. I thus see an integral part of this larger project on political violence being the problematization of the label of "victim."
It is very interesting and important to me that any discussion of the concept of democracy that I've read in Mongolian explains the concept in terms of its Greek origins and Western theories. As an anthropologist, I'm pretty convinced that this is not the most useful approach. Rather, I think it is important not to just to look at how people respond to surveys, or understand European and American political theory but how they actually talk and act in different situations. My current thinking is that in many ways, the textbook definition of democracy is irrelevant in the daily life of people. People seem to be thinking of democracy as a form of 'anti-socialism.'
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