Reinventing Vietnam : DOI MOI as a new revolution
Rady, Stephen G.
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Deep changes have taken place in Vietnam in the 25 years since the end of the Vietnam War. In this tumultuous period Vietnamese society, economy, and polity have been remade several times. No change in Vietnam is more dramatic than the transformation of its economy from a Stalinist centrally planned system to a capitalist market. Yet, unlike the states of Central Europe and the former Soviet Union, Vietnam has retained its communist polity. Among developing states Vietnam is one of a few which are depicted as being relatively strong, able to impose its will on society. Its dramatic economic transformation is often credited to the stewardship of a progressive communist leadership. A closer examination of Doi Moi ("Renovation") - Vietnam's economic reform program - suggests the opposite, that Vietnam is more typical of weak Third World states than once thought. Using a dual-level analysis incorporating elements of balance of power theory, internationalization, and Joel S. Migdal's study of weak Third World states in strong societies, this thesis will show that Doi Moi is the product of accommodations made by Vietnamese communists at all levels of society to maintain political control in the face of strong domestic and international pressures to liberalize.
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