Transnational Migration, Globalization and the Persistence and Adaptation of Rural Livelihoods: A Case Study of the Kazakh Diaspora in Western Mongolia Chapter uri icon


  • Individual and household adaptation to changing economic, social and environmental conditions is essential to sustaining livelihoods through time. This paper assesses the local scale impacts of transnational migration on local economic development and, in turn, livelihoods, in a once isolated, rural province of Mongolia: BayanUlgii. Mongolias rapid political and economic transitions of the 1990s parallel regionalscale reorganisation of territories and peoples following the Soviet Unions collapse. One striking development is the movement of populations: ethnic groups, separated from their imagined homeland, have started to repatriate these lands decisions that profoundly affect sending and receiving communities. While these migration decisions are made at the individual and household scales, extensive in or outmigration, such as has been occurring in western Mongolia, has longterm impacts for local communities. Our research findings suggest that several key factors influence local livelihood change and community economic viability including changing lifestyles for women, new economic opportunities created by greater connectivity to Russia, Kazakhstan, and China, and increased access to nonlocal cultures.

author list (cited authors)

  • Barcus, H. R., & Werner, C. A.

editor list (cited editors)

  • Cawley, M., Bicalho, A., & Laurens, L.

Book Title

  • The Sustainability of Rural Systems Global and Local Challenges and Opportunities : Proceedings of the 19th Annual Colloquium of the Commission on the Sustainability of Rural Systems of the International Geographical Union, National University of Ireland Galway, August 2011

publication date

  • January 2013