This article constitutes an attempt to understand political transformations in a pastoral region of eastern Mongolia where senior men, their kin groups, and the ecologies—human and non-human—that bind them have become central nodes in the territorial operation of governance. This political assemblage has emerged in what I call the balance of “mastery,” a tense, uneven entanglement of landscape and authority. The argument combines scholarly interests in political ontologies with analyses of neoliberal governmentality and rural social change. As such, the article traces the circulation of power, in its various human and non-human guises, through this landscape in ways that demonstrate the productive consequences of unequal agency, including the shifting relations of risk and vulnerability in a dynamic ecology of rule.


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pp. 759-792
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