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Mongolia: Unifying Structures
Country Study > Chapter 2 > The Society and Its Environment > Society > Planned Modernization > Unifying Structures


As the economy has developed, the population has increased, the society has grown more differentiated, the people have come to have less in common, and the need to coordinate and to integrate their activities has become more pressing. The society formerly was held together and was coordinated by a set of unifying structures, of which the most significant were the ruling party, the educational system, and a set of party-directed organizations intended to enroll nearly every Mongolian in their activities.

The Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party, like other ruling communist parties, directed the activities of all enterprises and large-scale organizations, from herding collectives to the national government. Collective farms and factories usually were run by the first secretary of the local party branch, and the party made an effort to recruit outstanding workers and people with leadership and managerial potential. Party members belonged to two organizations, their work unit and the party, and were the intermediaries who linked enterprises and local communities with the national political system. Party members constituted most of the extensive ranks of administrators who ran the country on a day-to-day basis. They were political generalists, generic managers; those at the higher levels usually had been trained in special party schools in the Soviet Union or in Ulaanbaatar.

In marked contrast with the past, almost all young Mongolians were enrolled in schools in the 1980s.

A set of organizations -- trade unions, children's Young Pioneers, the Mongolian Revolutionary Youth League (modeled on the Soviet Komsomol, for people between the ages of fifteen and twenty-eight), the Mongolian Women's Committee, and various sports and hobby groups -- was intended to enroll every member of the population and to ensure that citizens who were not members of the elite party nonetheless were exposed to its ideology, example, and leadership. Mass organizations were controlled by the party. The responsibilities of the Mongolian Women's Committee included "the enlistment of women in the conscious performance of their civic and labor duty," which was accomplished through such means as annual rallies for female stockbreeders. By cutting across local and regional boundaries, the mass organizations promoted identification with the nation rather than the locality and with vocational or avocational rather than regional or ethnic interests.

Data as of June 1989

Last Updated: June 1989

Editor's Note: Country Studies included here were published between 1988 and 1998. The Country study for Mongolia was first published in 1989. Where available, the data has been updated through 2008. The date at the bottom of each section will indicate the time period of the data. Information on some countries may no longer be up to date. See the "Research Completed" date at the beginning of each study on the Title Page or the "Data as of" date at the end of each section of text. This information is included due to its comprehensiveness and for historical purposes.

Note that current information from the CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State Background Notes, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Country Briefs, the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Country Profiles, and the World Bank can be found on

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