Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Democratization Advocates in Vietnam, 1990s–2014: A Public Lecture by Dr. Benedict J. Tria Kerkvliet

Democratization Advocates in Vietnam, 1990s–2014
A Public Lecture by Dr. Benedict J. Tria Kerkvliet
7 October 2015 (Wednesday), 1:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Seminar Room, Hall of Wisdom, Asian Center
University of the Philippines Diliman

Beginning in the mid-1990s, public criticism of the Communist Party government in Vietnam spread to the point that by 2014 it became a prominent feature of the country’s political scene. This presentation emphasizes critics who want to replace, non-violently, the present regime with a democratic political system. Drawing primarily on the writings and actions of Vietnamese critics themselves, the analysis shows that they differ over how to displace the current system. Some regime critics think the Communist Party leadership itself can and should lead the way; others form organizations to openly and directly challenge the regime; still others urge remaking the current system by actively engaging it; and some favor expanding civil society in order to democratize the nation. Underlying the four approaches are different understandings of what democratization entails and its relationship to social and economic development. The presentation ends by contrasting contemporary dissent in Vietnam to political criticism in northern half of the country in the mid 1950s and in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union in the 1970s-1980s.


Dr. Benedict J. Tria Kerkvliet is Professor Emeritus at the Department of Political and Social Change, School of International, Political and Strategic Studies, Australian National University. His areas of expertise are Government and Politics of the Asia and the Pacific, and Comparative Government and Politics. He earned his B.A. at Whitman College, and his M.A. and Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin Madison. His research delves into the “interactions between ordinary people and authorities or other elites.”

The lecture is organized and hosted by the UP Asian Center and co-sponsored by the UP Third World Studies Center and the UP Department of Political Science. The lecture is FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. However, seats are available on a first-come, first served basis; there is no online registration, but the organizers would appreciate an e-mail expressing intent to come:​


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