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The Lama QuestionViolence, Sovereignty, and Exception in Early Socialist Mongolia$
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Christopher Kaplonski

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780824838560

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824838560.001.0001

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Rebellions, War, and Aftermaths

Rebellions, War, and Aftermaths

(p.122) Chapter 6 Rebellions, War, and Aftermaths
The Lama Question

Christopher Kaplonski

University of Hawai'i Press

The late 1920s saw a hardening of anti-religious policies and a failed attempt at collectivisation. This led to an “armed rebellion” in 1932 that convulsed much of the country. In light of the rebellion and the evident failure of previous policies, a shift in tone and strategy was adopted by the socialist government. While certain policies against the lamas as a whole remained in force, the focus shifted to a more explicitly class-based approach to the lama question. Efforts to win the allegiance of poorer lamas were redoubled, while additional measures were brought to bear against higher-ranking lamas and reincarnations. This chapter explores this shift and its implications for the competition for the hearts and minds of the Mongolian populace.

Keywords:   collectivization, civil war, political violence, state of exception, Mongolia, political anthropology, Buddhism, socialism

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