Mongols - Sociopolitical Organization

Mongols, throughout Central Asia, lived under governments that promoted a Marxist-Leninist political philosophy with a single, dominant political party. The MPR, the PRC, and the former USSR had a politburo, the chief policy-making body that follows the directives of the Central Committee. In March 1990 the MPR politburo proposed to give up its monopoly on power in favor of a more democratic constitution. In the 1992 parliamentary elections the former Communist party won by a large margin.

Social Organization. Traditionally, Mongolian society was organized around lay and ecclesiastical social classes. Social worth in the present-day MPR and the IMAR is determined by occupation in the command economy. The introduction of market incentives in the IMAR countryside reduced the influence of minor officials but did not undermine the power of the high-ranking officials.

Political Organization. There were six leagues under the Manchu dynasty, which the MPR reorganized into eighteen provinces ( aimags ) and thirteen municipalites. In the MPR, a new administrative unit, the sumun, became the county administrative unit. The banner ( khoshuun ) level, between the province and sumun, was abolished. In Inner Mongolia, the Guomindang continued the traditional banner system. In 1947, the Communists established the IMAR and continued the banner administrative organization.

Social Control. Mongols did not develop a codified legal system until the thirteenth century. The Mongol legal code included categories ranging from religious to criminal law. These codes lasted until the Communist party came to power. The legal codes developed in both the MPR and the IMAR stress collective over individual rights. Everyday affairs are regulated primarily by social censure.

Conflict. Historically, at the heart of the Mongolian-Chinese conflict there has been the question of land use. Throughout much of the early twentieth century, the migration of Chinese peasants pushed the herders into inferior pastureland. This led to periodic conflict. Ethnic conflict is, more or less, a moot issue in the MPR, whereas in the PRC's autonomous regions it is not. The Han Chinese believe the state's affirmative-action policy provides too many benefits. The Mongols argue that state has not provided enough benefits.

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