The Dragon’s Underbelly: Dynamics and Dilemmas in Vietnam’s Economy and Politics

The Dragon’s Underbelly: Dynamics and Dilemmas in Vietnam’s Economy and Politics
Nhu Truong, Tuong Vu, editors
Date of publication:  2023
Publisher:  ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute
Number of pages:  379
Code:  PIC290
Soft Cover
ISBN: 9789815011395
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Prashanth ParameswaranBook review - Vietnam's Future Geoeconomic Outlook: Minding the Dragon's Underbelly' - Asean Wonk, 2024.

The volume presents a rich evaluation of Vietnam’s growth story to date, both on its own terms and relative to other countries in Asia and the world. The Dragon’s Underbelly adds value to existing work, with chapters offering insights into specific sectors and charting out potential scenarios and proposed reforms.

About the publication

This book shows why Vietnam has not become the dragon it is often touted to be. The team of authors include both long-time observers and junior scholars who present cutting-edge research on the latest trends as well as major challenges facing the country’s economy and political system. As Vietnam seeks to escape from poverty and the legacies of mistaken socialist policies, its economy has become fully integrated into the global economy. Yet, without an effective and far-sighted leadership, it is still occupying a low position in the global value chains and becoming increasingly dependent on China. Politically, after three decades of reform, the Vietnamese Communist Party’s grip on power has well adapted to the market economy, but is confronting deep vulnerabilities as observed in its eroding ability to control workers, the media, public universities, and state-owned enterprises. The book also includes a section that applies formal and statistical methods to compare Vietnam with China in two critical areas of political accountability and anti-corruption policy.

“This is a sophisticated and valuable contribution to the academic and policy literature on Vietnam’s recent economic and political developments. It will be highly useful for academics and students working on Vietnam, China and other rapidly developing economies; for policymakers; and for businesses and aid agencies. It deserves wide readership and close study.”
Mark Sidel, Doyle-Bascom Professor of Law and Public Affairs, University of Wisconsin–Madison


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