This essay offers reflections on Vietnam’s post-socialist state planning system and an upcoming government initiative to reform it. Thirty years after the departure from Soviet-style central planning, state-directed planning prevails as the dominant feature of Vietnam’s governance system, policy regime, and economic system. Our purpose is to examine why state-directed planning has been so resilient despite its many associated drawbacks in the past and present. We present a range of critical thoughts on the underlying causes and drivers that have preserved state-directed planning and that may jeopardize the nascent reform process.
Obsessive Planning in Transitional Vietnam: Understanding Rampant State Planning and Prospects of Reform
Simon Benedikter is a post-doc fellow at the Institute of International Forestry and Forest Products, TU Dresden (Germany). From 2007 to 2013, he was based in the Mekong Delta where he served as a senior researcher and project coordinator for the Center for Development Research (ZEF), Bonn University (Germany). From 2014 to 2017, he was a policy adviser in the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of Vietnam.
Loan T. P. Nguyen is a regulatory consultant and independent researcher with a thematic focus on law and policy in environment, natural resources, climate change, green growth and alike fields. She has been engaged in a wide range of advisory services to Vietnamese government agencies at different administrative scales (Government’s Office, Ministry of Justice) and to various international organizations (UNDP, World Bank, IUCN).
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Simon Benedikter, Loan T. P. Nguyen; Obsessive Planning in Transitional Vietnam: Understanding Rampant State Planning and Prospects of Reform. Journal of Vietnamese Studies 1 November 2018; 13 (4): 1–47. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/vs.2018.13.4.1
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