More Change Awaits Vietnam's Political Economy

About the Publication

This Trends in Southeast Asia series — now revamped and redesigned — acts as a platform for serious analyses written by selected authors who are experts in their fields. It is aimed at inspiring policymakers and encouraging scholars to contemplate the diversity and dynamism of this exciting region.

For the larger part of the 20th century, Vietnam stood as a symbol of nationalist struggle against colonialism and hegemony. The period was marked by a mixture of wars and efforts to develop the economy under the command of Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV). The collapse of the socialist bloc in Eastern Europe and the deterioration of Vietnam-China relations after 1976 forced the country to reform itself in order to survive. It launched its economic renovation policy (Doi Moi) in 1986 and the economy grew rapidly until 2000 after which it slowed down. Today, state-owned conglomerates are inefficient while the use of land by the State has caused social and political divides that threaten the legitimacy of the CPVs rule. Current efforts to restructure the economy are marked by foot-dragging and institutional reform is proceeding very slowly. This paper examines how institutional changes and policy implementation affect the economy, society at large and in turn, the way politics is played out in Vietnam. It will touch on the mixed economy the political rule of the CPV, societal responses, governance, rule of law, and the media.

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