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Julian Dierkes: Geopolitics of Mongolia & Move Toward Authoritarian Rule?

Posted on Apr 23, 2019 by in Podcast |

Dr. Julian Dierkes joins us to discuss Mongolian President Battulga’s new amendments to the judiciary which seem to signal a slight move toward authoritarianism. We also talk about the economy and geopolitical positioning of Mongolia between Russia, China, and North Korea.

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Show Notes

The Likelihood of Political Renewal

Genghis Khan’s Biggest Fan Is Testing Mongolia’s Democracy

Mongolia’s President Is Slicing Away Its Hard-Won Democracy

Mongolian foreign affairs delegation in Pyongyang for talks



About the Guest

Julian Dierkes is an associate professor at the University of British Columbia’s Institute of Asian Research (IAR) and School of Public Policy and Global Affairs (SPPGA). He co-ordinates the IAR’s Program on Inner Asia and is a frequent visitor to Mongolia.

Dr. Dierkes is a sociologist by training (PhD Princeton). In addition to contemporary Mongolia, his research interests focus on supplementary education, especially in Japan (see e.g. Jukupedia – Shadowing Education). He has also developed an interest in Digital Diplomacy.

In UBC’s Master of Arts Asia Pacific Policy Studies (MAAPPS) program and now the Master in Public Policy and Global Affairs (MPPGA), Dr. Dierkes has co-supervised graduate projects on mining regulation in Mongolia with colleagues in mining engineering. In 2017 he taught a seminar on Mongolian politics at Humboldt University in Berlin.

He has served as an election observer in the 2008 parliamentary,  2009 presidential, 2012 parliamentary and 2013 presidential, and 2017 presidential elections in Mongolia. He has written about Mongolia for Asia Pacific Memo, East Asia Forum, the FT’s beyond BRICS, The Diplomat and elsewhere, and also consults on political risk in Mongolia.

He tweets at, including frequent tweets on Mongolia.

Dierkes is easily mistaken for a socialist, but at least he’s an expert!

*Podcast intro music is from the song “The Queens Jig” by “Musicke & Mirth” from their album “Music for Two Lyra Viols”: (available on iTunes or Amazon)