1st Edition

Policing in a Changing Vietnam Towards a Global Account of Policing

By Melissa Jardine Copyright 2023
    186 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    186 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Knowledge about policing has been produced and disseminated unevenly so that our understanding comes from a skewed emphasis on the Anglo-American experience. Drawing on an original and comprehensive study of policing in Vietnam and engaging a Southern Criminological framework, this book explores police cultures and practices in a postcolonial, post-Confucian, transitioning economy.

    Identifying both similarities and differences in policing and police culture in Vietnam with those found in the dominant literature from the Global North, Policing in a Changing Vietnam challenges assumptions that police are (purportedly) apolitical, averse to tertiary education and defer to legalistic approaches to policing and law enforcement. It highlights that the variations identified in policing in Vietnam must be understood, not as deviations from Anglo-American normality, but as significant separate practices and traditions of policing from which the Global North may have something to learn. Contributing to ongoing debates on police culture and socialisation, this book explores the assumptions about relationships between the police, political systems, broad societal cultures, legal frameworks, organisations, communities and gender.

    An accessible and compelling read, this book will appeal to students and scholars of criminology, policing, gender studies, sociology, politics, law and all those who are interested in understanding the experiences and views of the Vietnamese police.

    1.Policing, Place and the Production of Policing Knowledge  2.Conflict, Continuity and Change: Shaping Vietnam and Contemporary Policing  3.The Emergence of Modern Policing in Vietnam  4.Edification, Socialisation and Constructing Police Culture  5.Bamboo, Boundaries and Benevolence: Police Culture, Norms and Practices in Transition  6.Matriarchy, Mobilisation and Modern Women in Vietnamese Policing  7.Towards a Global Account of Policing


    Melissa Jardine is an independent international policing advisor and former Australian police officer.

    The construction of a Southern perspective of policing is a work in progress that is both ambitious and daunting. In this remarkable book, Melissa Jardine has taken us further than most contemporary researchers into this uncharted territory. Overcoming language, cultural, political and other major barriers to researching police culture in a foreign country, Dr Jardine mobilises her professional knowledge, academic rigour, empathetic attitudes and personal determination to bring out this ground-breaking research that is both highly readable and deeply challenging.

    Janet Chan, Emeritus Professor, UNSW Faculty of Law and Justice, Australia

    The minute I told my colleague, a Vietnam scholar, about this manuscript, he immediately said he must have a copy, or else… This manuscript will be an important addition to the literature of Vietnam studies as it opens windows of light to illuminate on an aspect of Vietnamese society that few researchers have had opportunities enjoyed by Jardine. The police in Vietnam is so Janus-faced that it is possible to condemn and to commend them simultaneously. Law and order in Vietnam would probably have been much worse if not for their strong arms but strong arms are also throwing the police into moral disrepute. This speaks well indeed to the North-South differences. Understanding the revolutionary background and the actual state of governance of the armed forces in Vietnam brings readers a sense of sympathy for the Vietnamese police. I commend and recommend this work for both the serious academic as well as for the policy activist who wish to understand the difficulties the police in Vietnam face.

    David Koh, VinUniversity, Vietnam

    Through her captivating prose, Dr Melissa Jardine brings Vietnamese mythology and folklore to life to explore the consistencies, conflicts and contradictions women in modern Vietnam face – especially as they relate to women in policing. Reflections on her own experience as a police officer are also deeply moving and thought-provoking. I truly appreciate Dr Jardine for her extraordinary contribution to gender studies in Viet Nam.

    Khuat Thu Hong, Institute for Social Development Studies, Vietnam

    As the world is in turmoil and we are looking for new concepts of community safety and well-being, it is important to widen our perspective beyond the Global North. This in-depth study of police education, training and practices in Vietnam is proof of the importance of investigating alternative roles and concepts of policing in the Global South.

    Auke van Dijk, Strategist with the Police of the Netherlands; board member of Global Law Enforcement and Public Health Association (GLEPHA).