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Variations of Late Socialist Development: Integration and Marginalization in the Northern Uplands of Vietnam and Laos


  • Rupert Friederichsen

    (Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester)

  • Andreas Neef

    (Kyushu University, Fukuoka)


This article analyzes the dynamics of integration and marginalization inherent in the development process experienced by the rural upland areas of Vietnam and Lao PDR. Focusing on the post-1980s reform period, we compare the two uplands areas along the three themes ethnic difference and hierarchy, development policies and market permeation. In both countries, the low and differential status of ethnic minorities is reflected in policy formulation and implementation, contradicting the official rhetoric and goal of unity and equality among ethnic groups. Market influences are increasingly permeating the uplands of both countries although to varying degrees, connecting them with not only national, but also global commodity markets, and leading to increasing differentiation within and between ethnic groups. These development trajectories integrate and marginalize ethnic minority groups and individuals simultaneously but differentially.Cet article analyse les dynamiques d’intégration et de marginalisation liées au processus de développement qui a lieu dans les régions rurales montagneuses du Vietnam et du Laos. En nous concentrant sur la période de réformes postérieure aux années 80, nous effectuons une comparaison de deux régions montagneuses, autour de trois thèmes: différences ethniques et hiérarchie, politiques de développement, et pénétration de marché. Dans les deux pays, la situation– généralement défavorable– des minorités ethniques se reflète dans la formulation et la mise en œuvre des politiques, ce qui contredit le discours et l’objectif officiel de promotion de l’unité et de l’égalité entre les différents groupes ethniques. De plus, l’influence du marché se fait de plus en plus sentir dans les régions montagneuses des deux pays – bien qu’à des degrés différents – ce qui les met en contact avec des marchés non seulement nationaux mais aussi internationaux, et accroît de ce fait la différenciation tant au sein qu’entre les différents groupes ethniques. Ces trajectoires de développement intègrent et marginalisent les minorités ethniques et les individus de manière simultanée mais différenciée.

Suggested Citation

  • Rupert Friederichsen & Andreas Neef, 2010. "Variations of Late Socialist Development: Integration and Marginalization in the Northern Uplands of Vietnam and Laos," The European Journal of Development Research, Palgrave Macmillan;European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI), vol. 22(4), pages 564-581, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:pal:eurjdr:v:22:y:2010:i:4:p:564-581

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Susanna Kinnman & Magnus Lodefalk, 2007. "What is at Stake in the Doha Round?," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 30(8), pages 1305-1325, August.
    2. Paul A. Samuelson, 2004. "Where Ricardo and Mill Rebut and Confirm Arguments of Mainstream Economists Supporting Globalization," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(3), pages 135-146, Summer.
    3. Antoine Bouët & Simon Mevel & David Orden, 2007. "More or Less Ambition in the Doha Round: Winners and Losers from Trade Liberalisation with a Development Perspective," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 30(8), pages 1253-1280, August.
    4. Shafaeddin, Mehdi, 2006. "Is The Industrial Policy Relevant In The 21st Century?," MPRA Paper 6643, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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    Cited by:

    1. Edo Andriesse & Anouxay Phommalath, 2012. "Provincial Poverty Dynamics in Lao PDR: A Case Study of Savannakhet," Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs, Institute of Asian Studies, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies, Hamburg, vol. 31(3), pages 3-27.
    2. repec:dau:papers:123456789/11437 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Broegaard, Rikke Brandt & Vongvisouk, Thoumthone & Mertz, Ole, 2017. "Contradictory Land Use Plans and Policies in Laos: Tenure Security and the Threat of Exclusion," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 170-183.
    4. Rupert Friederichsen & Thai Minh & Andreas Neef & Volker Hoffmann, 2013. "Adapting the innovation systems approach to agricultural development in Vietnam: challenges to the public extension service," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 30(4), pages 555-568, December.

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