In this essay, I analyze Vietnamese migrant associations in Poland, which have been routinely classified as “non-governmental organizations.” And yet, through their involvement in networks of relationships with a broad range of actors, including transnational connections with institutions back in Vietnam, they are in fact positioned in a liminal zone between the state and civil society. On the one hand, migrant associations are to a large extent entangled with the politics of the Vietnamese state through various channels, including the embassy, and through personal and institutional connections maintained with mass organizations such as the Fatherland Front and the Women’s Union. On the other hand, they are able to retain some degree of autonomy and pluralism, remaining active agents engaged with the fraught social and political activities of Vietnamese diasporics in Poland.

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