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Re-thinking of "Chintanakan Mai" (new thinking) : new perspective for understanding Lao PDR


  • Yamada, Norihiko


To date, many previous studies have viewed "Chintanakan Mai" (New Thinking), which was introduced in 1986, as one of the most important factors required for understanding present-day Laos. They tend to see the year 1986 as a watershed in Lao history and divide the history after 1975 into two periods before and after 1986: a period of socialism and a period of reform or market economy, respectively. Therefore, they are likely to see the current changes in Laos as the result or achievement of the reform started in 1986. The year 1986 is always a starting point for understanding Laos today. However, I suggest a different perspective and attempt to re-examine "Chintanakan Mai." "Chintanakan Mai" is not a watershed in Lao history, but rather a temporary slogan to advance postwar reconstruction. In this paper, I try to establish a new perspective for understanding Laos today.

Suggested Citation

  • Yamada, Norihiko, 2013. "Re-thinking of "Chintanakan Mai" (new thinking) : new perspective for understanding Lao PDR," IDE Discussion Papers 393, Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organization(JETRO).
  • Handle: RePEc:jet:dpaper:dpaper393

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Yves Bourdet, 2000. "The Economics of Transition in Laos," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 1418.
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    More about this item


    Laos; Transition to market economy; Socialism; Economic policy; Chintanakan Mai; New Thinking; Lao PDR; Transition;

    JEL classification:

    • P20 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - General
    • P21 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - Planning, Coordination, and Reform
    • P30 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions - - - General

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