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Claiming Resources, Honouring Debts: The Cosmoeconomics of Mongolia's Mineral Economy

Empson, R; (2019) Claiming Resources, Honouring Debts: The Cosmoeconomics of Mongolia's Mineral Economy. Ethnos , 84 (2) pp. 263-282. 10.1080/00141844.2018.1502799. Green open access

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Abstract

What happens to the relations involved in ownership when faced with new claims and challenges? This article looks at three examples of the way in which Mongolians are managing claims to resources and responding to new regimes of ownership. In each case, recourse to models of ownership based on masters and custodians are marshalled and extended to suit new contexts. I suggest that these should not be viewed as modern responses to the inequalities of current economic and social life [cf. Comaroff and Comaroff. 1999, May. Occult Economies and the Violence of Abstraction: Notes from the South African Postcolony. American Ethnologist, 26(2): 279–303], nor should they be viewed as a historical remnant from some previous social life. Rather, and here I follow Tsing [2004. Friction: An Ethnography of Global Connection. Princeton: Princeton University Press; 2015a. The Mushroom at the End of the World: On the Possibility of Life in Capitalist Ruins. Princeton: Princeton University Press; 2015b. Salvage Accumulation, or the Structural Effects of Capitalist Generativity. In Theorizing the Contemporary, Cultural Anthropology Website, March 30, 2015. https://culanth.org/fieldsights/656-salvage-accumulation-or-the-structural-effects-of-capitalist-generativity], they may be viewed as an outcome of an innovative ‘friction’, or ‘salvage economy’, between global and local realities that gives rise to what Gibson-Graham [2006. A Postcapitalist Politics. Minnesota: Minnesota University Press] argues is a heterogeneous capitalist landscape, here manifested in Mongolia’s dramatically rising and falling mineral economy.

Type: Article
Title: Claiming Resources, Honouring Debts: The Cosmoeconomics of Mongolia's Mineral Economy
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/00141844.2018.1502799
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1080/00141844.2018.1502799
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Capitalism, debt, mining, custodianship, resources
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Anthropology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10049452
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