"May They Live with Herds". Transformation of Mongolian Pastoralism in Inner Mongolia of China
This thesis is dedicated to a better understanding of Mongolian pastoralism transformation in the contemporary Inner Mongolia context. Such a comprehension requires both the knowledge of common resource management and a historical analytical approach. A multidisciplinary approach based on institutional theory is proposed, primarily because the research rationale on reflection of fieldwork information raises the hypothesis that outside forces are the main cause of Mongolian pastoralism transformation; also because the long-standing controversy over common resource management needs a comprehensive approach instead. Moreover, a historical dimension can be very well integrated in the institutional change theory. Hence, the transformation of Mongolian pastoralism is an imposed institutional change process in which external institutions constantly pushes internal institutions out of functions. The thesis is thus structured: From the presentation of internal institutions of traditional Mongolian pastoralism, to the explanation of external institution transformations, and to the observation of internal institutions adapting to the changing institutional environment. The discussion concentrates on the present change of Mongolian pastoralism under the Household Production Responsibility System and other related management policies. The appropriation of the present external management system is questioned through a cost-benefit evaluation, in which the vulnerabilities both of Mongolian pastoralism and the pastoralists are exposed. Therefore, the socio-economic, environmental and cultural predicaments faced by these people can actually be interpreted as the phenomena or outcome of institution maladjustments or institutional defects. New forms of cooperative usage of rangeland, as an expression of micro-level motive for “appropriate” institutional arrangement in sustaining pastoral practices, are finally discussed to suggest the transformation prospect.
PublisherUniversitetet i Tromsø
University of Tromsø
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