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Release date: 7 September 2023

New non-fiction book deep dives into Mongolian coal mafia scandal and the country’s fight for democracy

Award-winning author Johan Nylander’s new non-fiction book The Wolf Economy Awakens – Mongolia’s Fight for Democracy, and a Green and Digital Future reveals never-heard before experience of rumoured assassination attempt, insights into the recent coal mafia corruption scandal and more

HONG KONG: The Hong Kong University Press is today proud to announce the release of ‘The Wolf Economy Awakens – Mongolia’s Fight for Democracy, and a Green and Digital Future’ by award-winning author Johan Nylander. The non-fiction book, which features exclusive interviews with some of Mongolia’s most powerful political figures will be available globally in online bookstores and on Amazon from 10 October 2023. 

From travelling across Mongolia on numerous visits, renowned writer Johan Nylander extensively interviewed Prime Minister Oyun-Erdene Luvsannamsrai who, for the very first time,  has shared his personal experience on the rumoured assassination plot towards him. It details his personal and professional response to serious allegations that could have ended his tenure and shaken the country at the same time as the shocking murder of the former Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe in July 2022.

The book offers a deep dive into major issues facing the region, including Mongolia’s sensitive geographic position between Russia and China. In addition to interviewing the Prime Minister, Nylander spoke to a plethora of the country’s most influential leaders and innovators, as well as digital nomads, jazz musicians, and ordinary families in detail about its current position and future of the ambitious forward-thinking nation.

The Wolf Economy Awakens focuses on the individuals fighting to strengthen the country’s democracy and economy to help Mongolia reach its full potential. Mongolia, a vibrant democracy landlocked between Russia and China, stands on the edge of becoming Asia’s next boom nation, one of the richest countries per capita in the region. Referred to as the “wolf economy” for its vast natural resources, copper, gold, and rare earth metals, Mongolia is also home to a growing number of cutting-edge tech startups and international lifestyle brands. Its vast steppe landscape lends itself not only to herding and tourism but renewable energy production and filmmaking. The book asks the question: Will Mongolia escape endemic corruption and the resource trap and become Asia’s next boom economy while maintaining its admirable democracy? 

Johan Nylander is a journalist and the author of The Epic Split – Why ‘Made in China’ is going out of style, an in-depth account from the frontline of the US-China trade war, as well as the Amazon bestseller Shenzhen Superstars – How China’s smartest city is challenging Silicon Valley. In The Wolf Economy Awakes, Nylander combines his reporting expertise with storytelling resulting in a compelling non-fiction book about current Mongolian society and its impact on the wider world.

Nylander’s new book has been endorsed by several academics and business experts, with testimonies such as: 

“Nylander’s book is a must-read for Asia enthusiasts, as he once again gets under the skin of an economy and reveals the fascinating complexities and personalities that make it tick.”  — Rob Carnell, Head of Research and Chief Economist, Asia-Pacific, ING Bank (Singapore).

“Johan Nylander, a journalist with deep Asia experience, ably integrates analysis and on-the-ground reporting. He’s talked to many of the fascinating Mongolians caught up in this epic story, the outcome of which matters for the region and the world. Well worth the read.” – Dexter Roberts, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Asia Security Initiative (Washington DC).

“I have read all about Mongolia, and have lived and run a business in the country for three decades. Johan Nylander’s book is by far my favorite read on contemporary Mongolia, and offers the best summary of Mongolia’s post-pandemic challenges.” — Jan Wigsten, CEO of tour company 360° Mongolia (Ulaanbaatar).

The Wolf Economy Awakens – Mongolia’s Fight for Democracy, and a Green and Digital Future highlights the country’s potential to become an economic and technological hub in Asia as well as the Mongolians’ resilience and hunger to play their part in moving their society forward.

Commenting on the process of writing The Wolf Economy Awakens – Mongolia’s Fight for Democracy, and a Green and Digital Future, award-winning author Johan Nylander said: 

“Mongolia is a country of beauty and hardship. Over my several travels to the country, I’ve come close to warm, welcoming, and hardworking people ready for change. If administered well, I believe Mongolia stands every chance of becoming Asia’s next success story.“

Speaking about the new book launch, Michael Duckworth, publisher at HKU Press, added: 

“HKU Press is thrilled to publish this timely and dynamic portrait of present-day Mongolia, which is rapidly reinventing its centuries-long engagement with the global economy, drawing upon its vast and uniquely resilient human capital very well documented here, as well as its enviable natural resources.”

The Wolf Economy Awakens – Mongolia’s Fight for Democracy, and a Green and Digital Future by Johan Nylander will be published by Hong Kong University Press on 10 October 2023 priced at $25 USD (paperback) (£20, €23) and $20 USD (e-book) (£15, €18).

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About the author

Johan Nylander is an award-winning author and Asia correspondent. His work is published by CNN, Forbes, Sweden’s leading business daily Dagens Industri, and many other international media outlets. He’s the author of The Epic Split – Why ‘Made in China’ is going out of style, an in-depth account from the frontline of the US-China trade war. Nylander is also the author of Shenzhen Superstars – How China’s smartest city is challenging Silicon Valley, which became an Amazon bestseller. He is a co-writer of Shenzhen: China’s Southern Powerhouse, a coffee table-sized book of photos published by Odyssey Books, and the author of an acclaimed management book called Simplify (Förenkla, Liber publishing). He frequently gives speeches about Asian and Chinese business and tech trends, geopolitical risks in the region, as well as how to navigate a new world of trade war and decoupling. During the 2008 financial crisis, Nylander was stationed as a foreign correspondent in London. He has an MBA from the University of Gothenburg. Nylander lives with his family in Hong Kong. For more about him, and to stay informed about his next book, visit johannylander.asia 


About HKU Press

As a unit of the University of Hong Kong, Asia’s most prominent English-speaking university, Hong Kong University Press has been connecting this uniquely diverse and energetic city with the rest of the world for nearly 70 years. Building on our unique position in Asia, HKU Press’ rigorously peer-reviewed works by leading academics and expert practitioners examine, critique, and celebrate Asia’s place in the world. These books engage a broad spectrum of academic disciplines, span all theoretical points of view, and range from in-depth local analyses through regional comparisons to global syntheses. While academics from every area of Asian Studies are represented on our list, we have gained particular renown for publications in Chinese history and culture, art and architecture, Asian film/cultural studies, and law. For more information, visit https://hkupress.hku.hk/ 

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