The article explores different ways of thinking about Vietnamese politics through an examination of the writing of Adam Fforde and Edmund Malesky. It argues that in order to adjudicate between different approaches to analysing Vietnamese politics, we need to come to a view about what we think politics actually is (i.e., ontology forms the basis on which we can answer questions about epistemology). This is very different from more positivist approaches to political analysis which argue that deciding between competing arguments is about weighing the data. I argue, by contrast, that adjudicating between rival positions has more to do with a series of a priori positions or beliefs that influence what we consider reliable data in the first place.
Malesky vs. Fforde: How Best to Analyze Vietnamese Politics?
Martin Gainsborough (email@example.com) is Professor of Development Politics in the School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies at the University of Bristol, where he teaches development studies. He is the author of two classic texts on Vietnamese politics and development: Changing Political Economy of Vietnam: The Case of Ho Chi Minh City (Routledge, 2001) and Vietnam: Rethinking the State (Zed Books, 2010). His current research examines issues in environmental and developmental politics and in political theology.
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Martin Gainsborough; Malesky vs. Fforde: How Best to Analyze Vietnamese Politics?. Journal of Vietnamese Studies 1 May 2018; 13 (2): 1–26. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/vs.2018.13.2.1
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