Thinking about the State and Party in Laos

The introduction for a collection of articles on Laos being guest edited by Simon Creak and Keith Barney (Party-State Governance and Rule in Laos) has been published. The article should be free to download in about a week.

Simon Creak

Conceptualising Party-State Governance and Rule in Laos” (DOI: 10.1080/00472336.2018.1494849) is authored by the guest editors Simon Creak of the Humanities and Social Studies Education Academic Group, National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University in Singapore and Keith Barney of the Resources Environment and Development Group, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.

The abstract states:

Keith Barney

This article develops a framework for conceptualising authoritarian governance and rule in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic. After introducing the national and academic context, which go a significant way towards understanding the paucity of comparative political work on Laos, we propose an approach to studying post-socialist authoritarian and single-party rule that highlights the key political-institutional, cultural-historical and spatial-environmental sources of party-state power and authority. In adopting this approach, we seek to redirect attention to the centralising structures of rule under the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party, illustrating how authoritarian institutions of the “party-state” operate in and through multiple scales, from the central to the local level. At a time when the country is garnering greater attention than at any time since the Vietnam War, we argue that this examination of critical transitions in Laos under conditions of resource-intensive development, intensifying regional and global integration, and durable one-party authoritarian rule, establishes a framework for future research on the party-state system in Laos, and for understanding and contextualising the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party regime in regional comparative perspective.

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