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The Role of Kinship in Negotiating Territorial Rights

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Exploring Claims for Winter Pasture Ownership in Mongolia

image of Inner Asia

This paper explores the role of kinship in herder claims for winter shelter ownership in rural Mongolia, where pastureland is currently designated as state-owned property in the national constitution. Drawing on ethnographic research conducted amongst mobile pastoralist households, this article demonstrates how contemporary winter pasture rights take shape within a locus of political relations structured by custodial land-use practices. It highlights the ways that herders negotiate for territorial rights through appeals to established regional families and are how these appeals are mediated by local government administration. From this analysis, I argue that concepts of kinship in the political economy of pastoralism should be re-examined in light of current debates around land-tenure legislation in Mongolia.

Affiliations: 1: Green Templeton College, Oxford University OxfordUK


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