Vietnam’s agricultural renovation and commodification

Muhammad Azizuddin has reviewed Trung Dinh Dang’s book Vietnam’s Post-1975 Agrarian Reforms: How Local Politics Derailed Socialist Agriculture in Southern
Vietnam., published by Australia’s ANU Press.

One of the great things about this book is that ANU Press allows the free download of a digital copy of the book.

Vietnam’s Post-1975 Agrarian Reforms focuses on the transition from collectivised farming in southern Vietnam after 1975 in two provinces. The book examines
the ways local politics impacted efforts at socialist agriculture, undoing this particular set of reforms after about ten years of implementation and replacing it with marketised forms of agriculture. The reviewer explains that these changes are theoretically conceptualised through the use of “notions of everyday forms of resistance and everyday politics pioneered by Scott and Kerkvliet and it examines how everyday politics played out under post-1975 national agrarian policies in these different provinces.” The drivers for change, rejecting socialist agriculture, are said to have been these everyday politics and local Communist Party cadres’ malpractices and corruption.

The reviewer states that the “book deals with a complicated topic … with clarity and
conciseness.” While the research was largely completed a decade ago, “this is a book that deals with an important topic and should appeal to readers wanting more knowledge of Vietnam’s development, those interested in agricultural reform and more broadly to those interested in the everyday resistance of subalterns.”

Azizuddin concludes that the book “makes a valuable contribution to existing knowledge about development economics in Vietnamese contexts.”

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