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Title: 'Living from loan to loan' : tracing networks of gifts, debt and trade in the Mongolian borderlands
Author: Waters, Hedwig Amelia
ISNI:       0000 0004 7660 9082
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2019
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This thesis explores the reliance on diverse economic networks in the margins of the neoliberal Mongolian state. Despite wanting to be included in contemporary economic and political narratives, residents of the border town of Magtaal feel largely neglected by the contemporary state and its political representatives. The remoteness of Magtaal, the recent Mongolian economic crisis and the inflation of cash money have submerged the township into a 'regime of debt' (Sneath 2012) manifested in what locals call 'living from loan to loan'-subsisting off temporally-spaced cash influxes from bank loans and other sources. Yet, residents have appropriated these local economic, political and legal ambiguities through the creation of debt-motivated and/or resource extractive networks that engender monetary returns for the township. Through experience living and traveling with cross-border natural resource bulkers, local moneylenders and debt-based trade participants, this thesis explores debt-motivated economic networks that function to mobilize and distribute diverse sources of value. The power of these lies in their ability to bridge the multiple disjunctures between the bank-based formal system and the temporalities and values of the local social world. For one, these networks are driven by bank-based debt, yet enabled by social-based, 'gift-like' (Pedersen 2016) debt. Additionally, these chains can 'translate' (Tsing 2015) across moral worlds through the inclusion of local registers of patronage, care, assistance and prestige into economic calculi. As a result, these networks are increasingly utilized and morally sanctioned for their provisioning and distribution functions in lieu of the state. But in doing so, cosmoeconomic narratives are reconceptualized to sanction the increasing monetization, financialization and resource extraction in the Mongolian economic landscape.
Supervisor: Empson, R. ; Abramson, A. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available