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A political economy approach to the impact of the WTO’s accession process on Vietnam’s economic reform: a case of compliance?

Pham, Gia Son (2013) A political economy approach to the impact of the WTO’s accession process on Vietnam’s economic reform: a case of compliance? PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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This research examines the impact of the WTO accession process on the economic reform process of Vietnam. The WTO accession provided a decisive external force to accelerate and lock-in domestic reforms. Accession acted as a template to inform and structure the reform process. The process was utilised by reformers help rescue Vietnam from economic crisis. With the extensive reform of economic institutions, the opening up to the market economy and the input of foreign capital, the Vietnamese economy showed rapid growth, moving from being the poorest country in the world to a middle ranking economy by 2013. In the first and second chapters the objectives of the thesis are explained and the contextual framework and research design are presented, with the focus being on the economic reform of Vietnam. A literature review is followed by a comparative analysis of China’s accession to the WTO. In the third and fourth chapters, both the Vietnam political and economic systems and processes are presented in the context of Vietnam’s transition from a centrally commanded economy to a market economy. A full examination is made done of the Communist Party and its governance mechanisms. Chapters five, six and seven concentrate on three case studies that evaluate the impact of the WTO on three Vietnam economic sectors; Agriculture, Banking and Textiles. The conclusion demonstrates that the thesis research provides a unique new contribution to the literature as it revealed limits to the reach of WTO accession in accelerating domestic reforms. It identified the structural impediments to the fullfledged transformation of what was an insulated command economy into a globally integrated market economy. Endemic corruption, a growing debt burden and the influence of a powerful and wealthy elite interest group now threaten the Vietnam economy with a severe financial crisis. The reforms have failed to provide the necessary tools to avert the impending crisis. How and why this is the case is explained in the thesis.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2013 Gia Son Pham
Library of Congress subject classification: J Political Science > JZ International relations
Sets: Departments > International Relations
Supervisor: Sally, Razeen

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