‘Property of the Nation’ - Resource Nationalism to Become a Political Doctrine in Contemporary Mongolia?

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The proposed paper is a study of resource nationalism. Resource nationalism appeared in Mongolia in the post-Socialist period. In this paper, we understand resource nationalism as a wide spectrum of strategies domestic elites employ in order to increase their control of natural resources - definition by Paul Domjan and Matt Stone. After an analysis of legal materials, mass media articles and political rhetoric, the author of this paper concludes that the sources of resource nationalism should be searched in the texts that date back to the Socialist era. Also, the sources of resource nationalism can be found in the ideas about justice of those times. The idea that natural resources belong to the people has been fixed in mass opinion, while contemporary nationalists justify this idea from the standpoint of “blood and soil”. That creates serious problems for Mongolia, a country with resource economy. The matter is that economic growth driven with foreign investments has caused a deep social stratification. In its turn, social stratification gave birth to a social demand for fair profit distribution from natural resource extraction. In the political sphere, this social demand quickly received a reaction - in the form of resource nationalism rhetoric. In the paper, we notice that resource nationalism in Mongolia has not been formed as a vivid legal or political doctrine. Today, it is a set of populist rhetoric of current interest which are used both for lobbying future political decisions in mining and for legitimizing the decisions already made.

About the authors

Alexey V. Mikhalev

Buryat State University

Author for correspondence.
Email: mihalew80@mail.ru
ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7069-2338

Doctor of Political Sciences, Director of the Centre for Political Transformations Studies

Ulan-Ude, Russian Federation


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