Denison Assistant Professor Nhu Truong is a co-editor, with University of Oregon Professor Tuong Vu, of a new book, The Dragon’s Underbelly: Dynamics and Dilemmas in Vietnam’s Economy and Politics.

The Dragon’s Underbelly details reasons why Vietnam has not become the “dragon” it is often touted to be. The authors include both long-time observers and junior scholars who present cutting-edge research on the latest trends as well as major challenges facing the country’s economy and political system.

As Vietnam seeks to escape from poverty and the legacies of mistaken socialist policies, its economy has become fully integrated into the global economy. Yet, without an effective and far-sighted leadership, it is still occupying a low position in the global value chains and becoming increasingly dependent on China.

Politically, after three decades of reform, the Vietnamese Communist Party’s grip on power has well adapted to the market economy, but it is confronting deep vulnerabilities as observed in its eroding ability to control workers, the media, public universities, and state-owned enterprises.

The book also includes a section that applies formal and statistical methods to compare Vietnam with China in two critical areas of political accountability and anti-corruption policy.

January 31, 2023