State of Civil Society Development in Mongolia


  • T Undarya National Coordinator, MONFEMNET National Network, Ph.D. Candidate in Political Science



Mongolia’s civil society has been much praised by observers, mostly foreign, for its strength and vibrancy. While these glowing accounts do have some merit, it is important to take a more sober look at not so conducive environment – political, cultural, economic and financial,- which could severely undermine the future of Mongolia’s civil society. Yet, given the current position of Mongolia, standing to gain from its mining boom, the presence of a strong, well resourced, effective and ethical civil society may be the key factor for determining the country’s course towards equitable and democratic development or essentially a corrupt police state with a small elite ruling over the poor masses.

With this thought in mind, this article will review the development of the Mongolian civil society, particularly its environment and structure. The article will rely on the latest available comprehensive study of civil society in Mongolia, produced using the CIVICUS’s Civil Society Index (CSI) methodology.1 Although the CSI study was conducted in 2004-2005, civil society stakeholders agree that its main findings still hold.2 Whenever necessary and possible, the study findings shall be updated with more recent data and analysis. Given the diversity and complexity of the broader civil society field, and considering the vital role played in this field by human rights (including women’s rights) and pro-democracy advocacy NGOs, the article will focus more on this particular sub-field.


Mongolian Journal of International Affairs No.18 2013: 52-68


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How to Cite

Undarya, T. (2013). State of Civil Society Development in Mongolia. Mongolian Journal of International Affairs, (18), 52–68.



Democracy in Mongolia