This study analyses trajectories of change in the Vietnamese political system and their implications for pro-poor policy-making, drawing in particular on the central concepts of political tradition, institutions and regime type. A brief political history and a summary of patterns and trends in poverty reduction in the context of economic and social transformation set the scene for the discussion of how political structures and policy-making processes have evolved. This is approached in a medium- to long-term perspective. The principal features of the contemporary politics of poverty reduction clearly date from the introduction of economic liberalisation in the mid-1980s and the growth-led reduction in poverty which has resulted from liberalisation, but the political traditions and institutions within which liberalisation has played out (and which it has in turn transformed) date back to the founding of the socialist republic at the end of the Second World War.
Edwin Shanks, Cecilia Luttrell, Tim Conway, Vu Manh Loi and Judith Ladinsky