The talk examines the history of policy towards the state sector in communist-ruled Vietnam. It argues that this history suggests that the ‘Marrist’ interpretation of the nature of Vietnamese Communist politics is correct, and the lack of clear central authority 'over and above' the sector, as elsewhere, dates to the origins of the post-1945 state. Thiscontrasts with the mainstream and common argument, epitomised by Goscha, that the Communist state ‘born of war’, driven by ideas in contest with foreign powers, had clear internal hierarchies and very strong domestic sovereignty, a familiar characterisation of Communist rule.

Key references:
Fforde, AJ, 2007, Vietnamese State Industry and the Political Economy of Commercial Renaissance: Dragon's tooth or curate's egg? Oxford: Chandos
Goscha, C., 2011, Vietnam - Un état ne de la guerre 1945-1954, Paris: Armand Colin
Marr, David G, 1997, Vietnam 1945 – The quest for power, Berkeley: University of California Press
Marr, David G., 2013, Vietnam State, War, and Revolution (1945–1946), Berkeley: University of California Press

Prof. Adam Fforde has published widely on contemporary Vietnam and in development studies. Among his most recent books are Coping with facts: A skeptic’s guide to the problem of development (Kumarian 2009) and Understanding development economics: Its challenge to development studies (Routledge 2014). He holds positions in Asian Studies at Melbourne University and in Economics at Victoria University.

Please RSVP to no later than 28 January 2015.