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The Evictors

Around Moscow, there’s a whole industry of so-called “black creditors” — microfinance institutions (or MFOs) that swindle and seize debtors’ homes. Ivan Golunov’s investigation for Meduza has discovered that almost 500 apartments have been seized from their owners over the past five years without so much as a court order. In fact, this scheme involves more than simply “squeezing” people from their homes. It is possibly part of a wider, international money-laundering system. Here’s Meduza special correspondent Ivan Golunov on the ins and outs of this industry.

Gender and Electoral Self-Polishing in Mongolia

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This week’s podcast is different from the usual fare. It’s a recording of Manduhai Buyandelger’s keynote address “Self-Polishing and Electoral Selves: Elections and the New Economies of Democratization in Postsocialist Mongolia” given at the 2019 Annual Soyuz Symposium. Soyuz was held at the University of Pittsburgh this year and the organizers asked if would record the talk and release it on the podcast.

Manduhai Buyandelger is an Associate Professor of Anthropology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She’s the author of Tragic Spirits: Shamanism, Gender, and Memory in Contemporary Mongolia published by the University of Chicago Press. This talk is adapted from her forthcoming book, tentatively titled A Thousand Steps to the Parliament: Women Running for Election in Postsocialist Neoliberalizing Mongolia.