Institute of Asian Research
Program on Inner Asia
Coordinator: Dr. Julian Dierkes
Institute of Asian Research has recognized that expertise on Inner
Asia and Central Asia is lacking not only at the IAR, but at UBC and
in Canada more broadly. While we are not in a position to address this
gap comprehensively, we are attempting to raise the profile of
research on this area of great interest to Canadians and hope to
establish more sustained activities in the future.
Research on Central and Inner Asia has gained renewed prominence
in the 21st century as more attention in the social sciences and in
the policy community is focusing on the interplay between religious
and ethnic identities and some of the Asian states as well as on
issues surrounding the management of natural resource endowments. A
policy-context to some extent dominated by the legacies of the Soviet
Union only makes these issues more pressing and thus command
A number of past research projects have heightened our awareness of
the research being done on Inner Asia around the world. IAR
researchers and other colleagues have thus examined or are conducting
- policy-making in the periphery of the People's Republic of China
- contemporary Tibetan studies
- human security and educational policy in Mongolia
- mining regulation and resource-based development in Mongolia.
We hope to continue to build expertise in these fields and related
areas of inquiry and welcome suggestions from colleagues and the
interested public as to future topics and activities.
Supporting the Program
The Program on Inner Asia has recently benefitted from a very
generous anonymous donation to support its activities in the academic
year 2007-08. If you are interested in opportunities to support the
program, please contact Dr. Julian
Some Future, On-Going and Past Activities
In 2005, we inaugurated our Mongolia
Lecture Series as a first concrete attempt to engage with Inner
Asia more regularly.
- The Program on Inner Asia is organizing a conference on "Contemporary Mongolia - Transitions, Development and Social Transformations" for November 15-17, 2008. The call for proposals for the conference attracted almost 100 proposals.
- In January 2008, Julian Dierkes, co-ordinator of the Program on Inner Asia, published an editorial in the Vancouver Sun, entitled "Canada's Opportunity in Mongolia" commenting on Minister of International Trade Emerson's visit to Ulaanbaatar and advocating a Canadian foreign policy in support of well-informed mining regulation in developing economies.
- During the academic year 2007-08, the Program on Inner Asia, together with the Buddhism and Contemporary Society Program and the Contemporary Tibetan Studies Program is benefiting from a generous grant by the Silkroad Foundation in organizing a lecture series on "Tibet-Mongolia Links in Religion and Medicine".
On Monday, March 26, 2007, the Mongolian film "The Cave of the Yellow Dog" was screened as a part of the IAR Asian Film Festival
- In the fall term of the 2006/07 academic year, we offered an experimental
course, entitled "Mining in Mongolia"
within the Master of Arts-Asia Pacific Policy
Studies. The participants (graduate students in Asia Pacific Policy Studies and in Mining Engineering) drafted a report that provides some background information and recommendations on mining policy in Mongolia.
Please contact Julian
Dierkes to learn more about the activities of the Program.