On 25 January, the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) gathered for its first national congress since 2016. Around 1600 members from around the country are gathered in Hanoi, where they will select new leaders and plan the country’s development for the next five years and beyond.
Under CPV rule, Vietnam has emerged as an increasingly important economic and political force regionally and globally, after decades of rapid economic growth and improving living standards. Now the party can add a highly successful campaign against Covid-19 to boost its performance-based legitimacy. Still, there are growing reports of discontent both within and outside the party, and Vietnamese authorities have yet again initiated an intensified crackdown on dissent before the congress.
In a country where even leading experts refer to politics as a ‘black box’, significant parts of the political processes are hidden from the public. We invite leading experts to give us more insight into the ruling party of Vietnam and reflect on the future of both the party and the country. And should we still take the socialist visions of one of global capitalisms best performers seriously?
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About the panel
Jonathan D. London is Associate Professor of Global Political Economy - Asia at the Leiden Institute of Area Studies.
Stein Tønnesson is Research Professor at the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO).