Business associations and the politics of contained participation in Vietnam

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Title: Business associations and the politics of contained participation in Vietnam

Author: Nguyễn Phương Tú

Source: Australian Journal of Political Science, DOI: 10.1080/10361146.2014.896317


The development of the private sector in Vietnam since the mid-1990s has accompanied the emergence of organised business interests, which is recognised as vital to pursuing the agenda of economic modernisation. This article aims to explore the significance of the interactions between the state and business associations representing small-and-medium enterprises. It demonstrates that business associations have transformed state–business relations in a way that is distinguishable from state corporatism or societal pluralism. The analysis examines the interplay between state actors and emerging non-state entities, and the deliberative capacity of intermediary organisations in the policy-making process, specifically through the Vietnam Association of Small and Medium Enterprises. It is argued that this process constitutes a new mode of political participation that reflects the entanglement of the state and private capital interests. It reveals features of contained participation and contributes to the research agenda on deliberative and governance practices in post-socialist transitional economies. 

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