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Young Mongols: Forging Democracy In The Wild, Wild East

Audrey Menarndt
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In 1990, Mongolia’s youth-led revolution threw off the Soviet yoke, ushering in multi¬party democracy. Thirty years later, the country’s youth are still leading Mongolia’s democratic development.

This powerful, inclusive book introduces readers to modern Mongolia through the stories of young leaders fighting to make their country a better, more democratic place. Its intersectional perspective explores the complexity of Mongolia today: the urban planning and pollution issues that plague the capital city of Ulaanbaatar; the struggles of women, the LGBTQIA+ population, people with disabilities, and ethnic minorities to claim their equitable places in society; the challenge of providing education in the world’s least densely populated country to prepare the workforce of tomorrow; and how to fairly divide the spoils of the country’s vast mineral resource wealth.

This rising generation of Mongolians is already wielding real power and shaping their country’s future. Their work will determine whether the country is able to overcome its development and democratization challenges, its relationship to the world, and who the winners (and losers) will be in Mongolian society.

Published: Jul/2020

ISBN: 9789814882262

Length: 340 Pages

Young Mongols: Forging Democracy In The Wild, Wild East

Audrey Menarndt

In 1990, Mongolia’s youth-led revolution threw off the Soviet yoke, ushering in multi¬party democracy. Thirty years later, the country’s youth are still leading Mongolia’s democratic development.

This powerful, inclusive book introduces readers to modern Mongolia through the stories of young leaders fighting to make their country a better, more democratic place. Its intersectional perspective explores the complexity of Mongolia today: the urban planning and pollution issues that plague the capital city of Ulaanbaatar; the struggles of women, the LGBTQIA+ population, people with disabilities, and ethnic minorities to claim their equitable places in society; the challenge of providing education in the world’s least densely populated country to prepare the workforce of tomorrow; and how to fairly divide the spoils of the country’s vast mineral resource wealth.

This rising generation of Mongolians is already wielding real power and shaping their country’s future. Their work will determine whether the country is able to overcome its development and democratization challenges, its relationship to the world, and who the winners (and losers) will be in Mongolian society.

Select Preferred Format

Audrey Menarndt

From 2015-2016, Aubrey lived in Mongolia as a Luce Scholar. Inspired by the brilliant young people she was meeting, she produced a documentary series, Young Mongols, to tell the story of modern Mongolia through their work. The ten-video series covers issues such as LGBTQ life, freedom of the press, and Ulaanbaatar’s deadly pollution problem. The videos were very successful domestically, gaining front-page news coverage, TV and radio interviews, and culminating in a standing-room only forum that was broadcast live to over 10,000 people. Over 25,000 people have viewed the series on YouTube and the project’s Facebook page has more than 4,000 followers. She lived in Ulaanbaatar for a year, wrote her graduate thesis at Oxford about Mongolia’s governance, and regularly publishes articles about the country. As a freelance journalist, she has published articles about Mongolia in Al Jazeera, the South China Morning Post, Ms. magazine, The Diplomat, and others and is skilled at distilling complex topics for a general audience. Most importantly, this is a topic and project that she is deeply passionate about—she believes that Mongolia has a bright future and that these young leaders will bring change and prosperity to their country.