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Consumer socialism: Development, consumption and sustainability in emerging Asia

The shift of the global economy continues materialising. While production has been moving East and South for decades, a new shift is underway in the form of consumption. The number of middle-class consumers in Asia has now been estimated to be close to equal that of North America and Europe.

"Ikea and more" shop in Hanoi. Photo: Arve Hansen

About the project

In China, Vietnam and Laos the high-consuming urban middle classes are emerging rapidly. Can we expect the ‘socialist market economies’ to handle consumption better and develop more sustainably than the mature capitalist countries have done? And how does the emergence of high-consuming urban middle classes fit into the socialist visions of these countries? This project will approach the development of the ‘socialist market economies’ from the perspective of consumption and sustainability, focusing on rapid changes in urban consumption patterns at the intersection between development strategies and everyday practices.


Center for Development and the Environment, UiO


July 2016 - July 2019



Tags: Global South, Vietnam
Published Sep. 2, 2016 9:08 AM - Last modified Oct. 28, 2020 4:13 PM