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The Territorialization of Vietnam's Northern Upland Frontier

Migrant Motivations and Misgivings from World War II until Today

Sarah Turner, Thi-Thanh-Hien Pham, and Ngô Thúy Hạnh

; Jepson 2006 ). Within the Southeast Asian Massif, frontier regions incorporating southeast China, northern Burma, Laos, northern Thailand, and central and northern Vietnam have been active trade sites for centuries ( Michaud 2016 ; Sturgeon 2007 ), while

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Democracy and Vietnam

Visceral Perspectives

Kim Huynh

This commentary considers proceedings from the workshop, “Can the Case be Made for Asian Democratic Theory or Practice?: Local Asian Perspectives,” held in Hanoi in February 2015. Particular attention is paid to the presentations of the two presiding professors, Pham Quang Minh and John Keane, both of whom argued that the Asian democracies of the twenty-first century would and should depart from the Western liberal democratic models of the late twentieth century. They also assuaged some of the visceral sentiments and tensions between the author (a boatperson who fled the Socialist Republic of Vietnam in 1979) and the local workshop participants (who were avid Vietnamese socialists).

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Psychic Experience, Truth, and Visuality in Post-war Vietnam

Markus Schlecker and Kirsten W. Endres

During the Vietnam War, unprecedented numbers of dead soldiers were buried in unmarked graves and remain missing today. Starting in the mid-1990s, the services of psychics came into high demand, prompting the establishment of a state-approved Center for Research into Human Capabilities that continues to offer grave-finding assistance for the general public. This article discusses the cases of two well-known female psychics. As the case studies demonstrate, such research programs have established a niche for psychics on the perimeters of the official discursive nexus of truth, science, and visuality. They also highlight the variability of social and semantic proc esses by which different psychics are positioned in relation to recognized distinctions between legitimate and illegitimate knowledge practices and truth claims.

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Colonial Legacy

French Retirees in Nha Trang, Vietnam Today

Anne Raffin

this article is based on interviews, I pay considerable attention to colonial history and its lasting effects on formerly colonized people and citizens of the ex-imperial metropole. I chose Vietnam, where as of March 2020 there were seven thousand

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Alone Together

Intimacy and Semi-Mobility during Ho Chi Minh City's Lockdown

Van Minh Nguyen

fieldwork since the beginning of February 2020 – began on 1 April 2020 but with fewer restrictions than other parts of Vietnam and the world ( Earl 2020 ). Nationwide, most businesses providing services that were deemed non-essential were ordered to close

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Belonging

Comprehending Subjectivity in Vietnam and Beyond

Tine M. Gammeltoft

With this article I develop a set of propositions for an anthropology of ‘belonging’. In developing these propositions, I take my point of departure in ethnographic as well as theoretical observations. It is partly fieldwork experiences in Vietnam

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Ladies Selling Breakfast

COVID-19 Disruption of Intimate Socialities among Street-Engaged Food Traders in Ho Chi Minh City

Ngoc-Bich Pham, Hong-Xoan Nguyen, and Catherine Earl

On 10 April 2020, roughly halfway through Vietnam's lockdown, the government announced an economic recovery package of VND 62,000 billion (US$2.7 billion) to support vulnerable groups seriously affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, including self

Open access

Social housing and feminist commoning in urban Vietnam

Christina Schwenkel

questions as I saw different dynamics play out in my field site in urban Vietnam under the historical and material conditions of socialism and its forms of state-led collectivization that shaped how urban society has been organized. What of these other, less

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Democracy after ‘the end of history’

Vietnamese diasporic liberalism in Poland

Grażyna Szymańska‐Matusiewicz

This paper traces the evolution of discourse about liberal democracy among Polish‐Vietnamese pro‐democracy activists, since their original mobilisations in the 1990s until today. Documenting what I call the two waves of Polish‐Vietnamese activism, I describe how their ‘diasporic liberalism’ shifted from a stance of opposition to communist ideology, and from a belief in the ‘end of history’, to an approach focused on bottom‐up democratisation and embrace of transnational frames of environmentalism, rule of law, rights and ‘civil society’. Such evolution of activists’ discourses and networks ultimately tracks the transformation of Western liberalism itself, both in terms of the ascendancy of neoliberal imagery of ground‐up citizenly empowerment and, more recently, the emergent right‐wing challenge to liberal‐democratic order in Europe, in response to neoliberal dislocation of the traditional working class. Analysing the activists’ shifting engagements with Polish liberal thought and Vietnam’s socialist democracy, this paper makes the case for thinking of liberalism as lacking an original or essential form. Rather it can be thought of in diaspora‐like terms, as a ‘globally mobile category’, brought into existence in varied, situated ways through ongoing mobilisation.

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Hmong Christian elites as political and development brokers

Competition, cooperation and mimesis in Vietnam’s highlands

Seb Rumsby

This article focuses on the role of new Hmong religious leaders – predominantly young men – who have played an important role in spreading Protestant Christianity across Vietnam’s highlands over the past 30 years. These pastors and evangelists have directly challenged the authority of previously established Hmong local elites, whose legitimacy rested on traditional religious authority and/or state patronage, causing significant social conflict along the way. Some new Christian pioneers have gained local elite status as political and development brokers for their community, enjoying a potent combination of spiritual authority, strong external networks and financial success. As such, international religious networks can function as alternative patrons to the state for well‐placed Hmong Christian elites to tap into and redistribute to their communities – to varying degrees. Contextualising such leadership dynamics within wider anthropological scholarship of upland Southeast Asia affirms the ‘pioneering ethos’ of local elites in challenging, complying with or mimicking state forms of governance in their attempts to draw in and channel external potency. This highlights the degree of political manoeuvring space available to non‐state actors in a supposedly authoritarian state, as well as ongoing tensions and controversies facing pastors who negotiate ambiguous relationships with powerful external forces.