||Environmental Geopolitics in Inner Mongolia: Anthropological and Historical Perspectives
||Uradyn E. Bulag（英國劍橋大學教授）
||Inner Mongolia has had a longer history of environmental issues than most regions in China. A geopolitical approach will allow us to see Inner Mongolia not as an isolated area but interconnected with the sedentary world, especially the agricultural heartland of China. This connectedness has generated enduring and mutually hostile perceptions between pastoralism and agriculture and their associated ways of life. Historians have attributed the thirteenth century rise of the Mongols to climate change in Inner Asia, whilst ecologists equally argue that the Mongol conquest and its ensuing destruction caused the first ever man-made global cooling. Today, however, Inner Mongolia has become a zone of environmental disasters. For over a century, an epistemological battle has been waging regarding who should be held responsible for the degradation of the grasslands and the sand storms which have been rampaging through much of East Asia. Mongols have apparently lost this battle, for more than half a million Mongol pastoralists have been evicted from their homeland by the Chinese state authorities in the past two decades. Yet, ironically, the evacuated grasslands have now become the destination of large-scale agricultural farms financed by global capital, especially pig farms moved from southern China (where pig farming is restricted for environmental reasons). This paper will argue that the Mongol loss in the environmental debate, Inner Mongolia’s geopoliticality, and the Chinese prejudice against pastoralism bode ill for the region’s environmental sustainability, which will have far-reaching consequences for the whole of China and the rest of East Asia.
Uradyn E. Bulag（烏·額·寶力格），英國劍橋大學社會人類學博士，曾任教於美國紐約大學，現任劍橋大學社會人類學教授、國際蒙古學協會副會長。著有蒙古研究三部曲－Collaborative Nationalism: The Politics of Friendship on China’s Mongolian Frontier（2010）（2011國際亞洲研究著作獎）、The Mongols at China’s Edge: History and the Politics of National Unity (2002)、Nationalism and Hybridity in Mongolia（1998）。近期研究重點為蒙古帝國遺產的分享，同時繼續關注中國民族問題的理論化議題。