1st Edition

Routledge Handbook of Contemporary Vietnam

Edited By Jonathan D. London Copyright 2023
    614 Pages 41 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The Routledge Handbook of Contemporary Vietnam is a comprehensive resource exploring social, political, economic, and cultural aspects of Vietnam, one of contemporary Asia’s most dynamic but least understood countries. Following an introduction that highlights major changes that have unfolded in Vietnam over the past three decades, the volume is organized into four thematic parts:

    • Politics and Society
    • Economy and Society
    • Social Life and Institutions
    • Cultures in Motion

    Part I addresses key aspects of Vietnam’s politics, from the role of the Communist Party of Vietnam in shaping the country’s institutional evolution, to continuity and change in patterns of socio-political organization, political expression, state repression, diplomatic relations, and human rights. Part II assesses the transformation of Vietnam’s economy, addressing patterns of economic growth, investment and trade, the role of the state in the economy, and other economic aspects of social life. Parts III and IV examine developments across a variety of social and cultural fields through chapters on themes including welfare, inequality, social policy, urbanization, the environment and society, gender, ethnicity, the family, cuisine, art, mass media, and the politics of remembrance.

    Featuring 38 essays by leading Vietnam scholars from around the world, this book provides a cutting-edge analysis of Vietnam’s transformation and changing engagement with the world. It is an invaluable interdisciplinary reference work that will be of interest to students and academics of Southeast Asian studies, as well as policymakers, analysts, and anyone wishing to learn more about contemporary Vietnam.

    1 How to Study Contemporary Vietnam?

    Jonathan D. London

    Part I: Politics and Society

    2 The Communist Party of Vietnam: Consolidating Market-Leninism

    Jonathan D. London

    3 Political Representation in Contemporary Vietnam

    Paul Schuler

    4 Public Political Criticism in Vietnam, 1990s–2018

    Benedict J. Tria Kerkvliet

    5 Civil Society and Advocacy Networks in Vietnam

    Andrew Wells-Dang

    6 The Role of the Military and Public Security in Contemporary Vietnam

    Carlyle A. Thayer

    7 Human Rights in Contemporary Vietnam

    Gisle Kvanvig

    8 Vietnam’s Foreign Policy: Structure, Evolution, and Contemporary Challenges

    Le Hong Hiep

    Part II: Economy and Society

    9 Vietnam’s Extraordinary Economic Journey from Poverty to Prosperity

    Martin Rama

    10 Vietnam’s Foreign Direct Investment and Export Performance

    Prema-chandra Athukorala and Trung Kien Nguyen

    11 Contemporary Vietnam: State Effectiveness Under Conditions of Commercialization

    Jonathan Pincus

    12 The Political Economy of Private-Sector Development in Vietnam Since Doi Moi

    Tu-Anh Vu-Thanh

    13 Decentralization and Economic Development in Vietnam

    Edmund Malesky

    14 Contradictions of Multistakeholder Labor Relations in Vietnam

    Angie Ngọc Trần

    15 Land in Contemporary Vietnam

    Nguyễn Văn Sửu

    16 Market Personhood in Urban Southern Vietnam

    Ann Marie Leshkowich

    17 Contemporary Vietnam’s Economy in Historical Perspective: Đổi Mới or Đổi Lại?

    Gerard Sasges

    Part III: Social Life and Institutions

    18 Welfare, Inequality, and Opportunity in Contemporary Vietnam

    Jonathan D. London and Jonathan Pincus

    19 Education and Development in Vietnam: A Glass Half Full?

    Diep Phan and Ian Coxhead

    20 Contemporary Vietnam’s Health Status and Health System

    Tran Khanh Toan

    21 Post-Colonial Urbanization in Vietnam: Urban Order and Unruliness

    Erik Harms and Danielle Labbé

    22 Sociocultural Life and Social Relations in Rural Vietnam’s Lowlands

    Hy Van Luong and Phan Văn Dốp

    23 The Cosmopolitan Delta: Ethnic Pluralism at the Mouth of the Mekong

    Philip Taylor

    24 Ethnic Minorities in Vietnam: State Relations and Social Change

    Pamela McElwee

    25 Environment and Society in Contemporary Vietnam: Development, Crisis, and Responses

    Nga Dao

    26 The Family in Contemporary Viet Nam

    Nguyen Huu Minh

    27 Feminism in Vietnam: Women’s Studies, Gender Research, and Intersections

    Hương Thu Nguyễn and Helle Rydstrom

    28 Masculinity and Violence in Vietnam

    Helle Rydstrom

    29 Marriage, Family and Kinship in Vietnam: Shadows and Silences

    Tine M. Gammeltoft

    30 The Affairs of Men: Masculinity in Contemporary Vietnam

    Linh Khanh Nguyen and Jack Dash Harris

    31 LGBTQ in Vietnam: Heteronormativity and Resistance

    Paul Horton and Helle Rydstrom

    Part IV: Cultures in Motion

    32 Contemporary Vietnamese Cuisine

    Christopher M. Annear and Jack Dash Harris

    33 Driving Doi Moi: Motorbikes, Cars, and Capitalism in Vietnam’s Socialist Market Economy

    Arve Hansen

    34 Religion in Contemporary Vietnam

    Hoàng Văn Chung

    35 Movements of Independent Art in Contemporary Vietnam

    Bùi Kim Đĩnh

    36 Revolutionary Journalism in Contemporary Vietnam

    Nguyen-Pochan Thi Thanh Phuong

    37 Popular Television: Socialist Politics and Market Competition

    Giang Nguyen-Thu

    38 Remembrance, Commemoration, and Revolutionary Apparitions: Ritualizing Connections with the Past and the Future in Vietnam

    Oscar Salemink


    Jonathan D. London is an associate professor of political economy at Leiden University, the Netherlands. His recent publications include Welfare and Inequality in Marketizing East Asia (2018), Politics in Contemporary Vietnam (2014), and Education in Vietnam (2011).

    “This is an extremely valuable compilation of essays by more than forty scholars coming from three generations, elucidating important developments in Vietnam during the past three decades. I learned a great deal.”

    David G. Marr, Australian National University, Australia


    “An excellent guide to the politics and economy of Vietnam today, the handbook also illuminates a variety of social issues. It should be of interest to individuals engaged in scholarship, business, or tourism.”

    Hue-Tam Ho Tai, Harvard University, USA


    “This is an excellent volume comprehensive in its coverage of contemporary Vietnam, and attentive in its multiple approaches across disciplines and fields of knowledge. It’s a necessary handbook for interested students of Vietnam as well as those seeking any kind of engagement with the country.”

    Thu-huong Nguyen-vo, University of California, Los Angeles , USA


    “An essential resource for understanding the complex dynamics of social, political, economic, cultural, and ecological transformation in Vietnam. International contributors from across the social sciences provide a brilliant overview of Vietnam past and present, while raising important questions about the direction of future research.”

    Christina Schwenkel, Journal of Vietnamese Studies