This book explores the way in which the state has become commercialised under reform as party and government officials have gone into business and considers the impact that this has had on politics within Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi. The book charts the way in which power has been decentralised to the lower levels of the party-state but argues that the central state retains significant power. These issues are explored through a variety of case studies including the implementation of different reform policies, struggles over political and business activity, and the prosecution of two major corruption cases. Particular emphasis is placed on piecing together the myriad of informal practices which dominate business and political life in Vietnam.
Martin Gainsborough is a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the University of Warwick