Jörg Wischermann

Civic Organizations in Vietnam's One-Party State: Supporters of Authoritarian Rule?

GIGA Working Paper, No. 228, July 2013

Associationalism under authoritarian rule is not automatically a good thing. The empirical findings laid out in this article indicate that authoritarian dispositions and practices are prevalent in all types of Vietnamese civic organizations, at least as far as internal decisionmaking processes are concerned. As is the case in most countries of Southeast Asia, old as well as new ideas of the state and state traditions have a strong impact on the patterns of authoritarianism found in Vietnamese civic organizations. From the empirical findings, it might be concluded that Vietnamese civic organizations support authoritarian rule – though the extent of such support varies; this has generally been an underresearched question. This pioneering article seeks to stimulate further research by offering new insights into how authoritarian power is exercised in Vietnam by addressing how associations’ activities stabilize rules, how the associated legitimizing effects can be conceptualized and understood in theoretical terms, and what would be a suitable operationalization of the aforementioned concepts.

Related Research at the GIGA

Related Research Tabs

GIGA Authors

Dr. Jörg Wischermann is an associate research fellow at the GIGA Institute for Asian Studies, Hamburg. He served as academic head of the project “Civil society organisations as supporters of authoritarian rule? A cross‐regional comparison (Vietnam, Algeria, Mozambique),” which was funded by the DFG (2013–2016).

Recent Publications by the Authors

Jörg Wischermann / Gerhard Will (eds.)

Vietnam: Mythen und Wirklichkeiten

Bonn: Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung, 2018

Jörg Wischermann / Phuong Thi Viet Dang / Adam Fforde

Vietnam: Kinderarbeit in Steinbrüchen an der Tagesordnung

in: Walter Eberlei (ed.), Grabsteine aus Kinderhand. Kinderarbeit in Steinbrüchen des globalen Südens als politische Herausforderung, Frankfurt am Main: Brandes & Apsel Verlag, 2018, 51-72

Jörg Wischermann / Bettina Bunk / Patrick Köllner / Jasmin Lorch

Do associations support authoritarian rule? Evidence from Algeria, Mozambique, and Vietnam

Journal of Civil Society, 14, 2018, 2, 95-115

Jörg Wischermann

Authoritarian Rule

in: Akihiro Ogawa (ed.), Routledge Handbook on Civil Society in Asia, Abingdon: Routledge, 2018, 344-361

Jörg Wischermann / Dang Thi Viet Phuong


in: Akihiro Ogawa (ed.), Routledge Handbook on Civil Society in Asia, Abingdon: Routledge, 2018, 129-142