Accepted Paper:

Herder wealth, investment, and residential structure in rural Bayanhongor province, Mongolia  


Ariell Ahearn Ligham (Oxford University)

Paper Short Abstract:

This paper explores the residential structures and investment strategies of herders in rural Mongolia in an effort to understand the nature of contemporary herding practice and decision-making in conflicting socioeconomic and environmental conditions.

Paper long abstract:

Mongolian herders are faced with a spectrum of decisions that require their response to environmental as well as socioeconomic conditions. This paper explores the seasonal residential structure and investment strategies of herding families in northern Bayanhongor province in an effort to understand the nature of contemporary herding practices and decision-making. It is found that traditional concept used by scholars to describe and understand residential structure, the hot ail, does not have a stable definition and is not part of the everyday practices of herders, while other structures that are often overlooked by scholars are more prevalent and part of daily discourse and decision-making processes. Additionally, socioeconomic factors have contributed to the formation of new residential structures, which may inform the direction of change in herding in contemporary Mongolia.

Panel P061
Mobile pastoralists and international development: standpoints and engagements