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In the Soviet Shadow

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Soviet Colonial Politics in Mongolia

image of Inner Asia

The article aims to broaden the understanding of Soviet politics as a form of colonialism and to deploy the same conceptual tools used in post-colonial critiques that have been typically reserved for critiquing European control of ‘distant’ lands, both in temporal and spatial dimensions. Closely examining Soviet politics in Mongolia, the article conceptualises the Soviet policies across the vast Soviet-sphere with the post-colonial theoretical framework. Conceptually, the article juxtaposes the post-colonial treatment of the Soviet politics with high modernism. Under Soviet direction and control, Mongolia was profoundly transformed over seven decades from an impoverished pastoral society at the beginning of the twentieth century to a highly ordered and structured society. This social, spatial, administrative transformation was more vivid and radical than in many former Soviet-sphere countries, especially those countries that had long been settled and urbanised.

Affiliations: 1: School of Geography & Development, University of Arizona TucsonUSA


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