In the late 1980s, most of the world still associated Vietnam with resistance and war, hardship, refugees, and a mismanaged planned economy. During the 1990s, by contrast, major countries began to see Vietnam as both a potential partner and a strategically significant actor-particularly in the competition between the United States and an emerging China-and international investors began to see Vietnam as a land of opportunity.
Vietnam remains a Leninist party-state ruled by the Communist Party of Vietnam that has reconciled the supposedly irreconcilable: a one-party system and a market-based economy linked to global value chains. For the Party stability is crucial and, recently, increasing economic openness has been combined with growing political control and repression.
This book, undertaken by scholars from Vietnam, North America, and Europe, focuses on how the country's governance shapes its politics, economy, social development, and relations with the outside world, as well as on the reforms required if Vietnam is to become a sustainable and modern high-income nation in the coming decades.
Despite the challenges, including systemic ones, the authors remain optimistic about Vietnam's future, noting the evident vitality of a determined society.
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Number of pages: 452
Dimensions: 254 x 178 mm
If you are going to read only one book on Vietnam to get up to speed with the state of scholarship on the country, this should be the one. A stellar cast of scholars looking at Vietnam from the rise of the party-state to its socioeconomic and diplomatic evolution gives readers an admirable compendium. -- Nayan Chanda, Ashoka University, former editor of Far Eastern Economic Review This volume is essential reading for anyone interested in how Vietnam transitioned from a poor, isolated country one generation ago to a rising Asian success story. Contributions cover both the economics and the politics of this ongoing transformation. -- David Dollar, Brookings Institution, former World Bank country economist for Vietnam and China This compilation provides a penetrating ringside glimpse into how Vietnam transitioned from a crippled centrally-planned economy into a global trading powerhouse and from a diplomatic pariah into a close partner of the U.S. and the West. The authors, including Vietnamese practitioners in and foreign advisers to the country's remarkable reform, detail the challenges Vietnam faces along the road to becoming a high-income nation, including a rigid political system, rampant corruption, growing economic inequality, serious environmental degradation, and a weak secondary education system. It is an invaluable read for anyone trying to understand this complex and dynamic country. -- Murray Hiebert, Center for Strategic and International Studies, author of Under Beijing's Shadow: Southeast Asia's China Challenge This is a critically important book that will be embraced by scholars of Vietnam and economic/political development more generally. The editors have assembled an astounding group of experts in a range of specialties from political science to economics to health to diplomatic history. Each chapter provides new insights that will enrich the knowledge of even long-term students of the country. -- Edmund Malesky, Duke University How can a communist party state coexist with a plural society? Read this book to find out! -- Stein Tonnesson, Peace Research Institute Oslo
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