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Editorial Introduction

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image of Inner Asia

This issue of Inner Asia includes papers that deal with two broad areas: politics of identity in medieval and contemporary periods and socialist and post-socialist economic development in Central and Inner Asia. It also features a critical response by Peter Bol to Karl Ryavec’s paper published in vol. 6, no. 2 of Inner Asia (2004) and Ryavec’s reply. We are pleased with and encourage this kind of exchange, as we are interested in critical scholarship that challenges our conventional thinking, and through debate we can come to better understanding of the dynamics of not only the Inner Asian studies field but also the region and its peoples. In this regard, Sergey Radchenko’s critical review of the two Mongolian political memoirs is also welcome, for it not only highlights some of the problems in writing a genuine history of socialist Mongolia, but also engages national scholars and politicians who, after all, have the responsibility to document, research, systematise, create and maintain their national cultures, and who set the agendas and guide the developments in their own countries. Their scholarly or non-scholarly results deserve outside scholars’ scrutiny whatever ideological and methodological differences separate them. The issue also includes reviews of several international symposia or conferences that were held in the last year or so in the UK, America, Japan and Mongolia. These reviews alert the readers of Inner Asia to the wide-ranging important intellectual activities both at the theoretical and practical levels in and about Inner Asia.


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