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Research Projects

FY 2010/2011 Research Topic: 4-01
Laos: The New Development of “Chintanakan Mai”


In 1986, Lao PDR adopted a slogan of “Chintanakan Mai (New Thinking)”. Thereafter, Lao PDR started comprehensive reform focused heavily on market-oriented economic reform. Economic reform requires political and social reform and brings many domestic institutional changes. There have been some previous studies focusing on “Chintanakan Mai”, but most of them treat only economic reform but ignore social and political reform. Also, most of them see present change in Laos as a result or an achievement of “Chintanakan Mai”. The year 1986 is treated as a year of watershed, and studies thus differentiate between before and after 1986, suggesting that before 1986 was a period of socialism and after 1986 is a period of market economy. We, however, do not take this approach. In order to understand “Chintanakan Mai” comprehensively and correctly, “Chintanakan Mai” should be placed in the historical process of nation-state building. We emphasize the continuity of the nation-state building process through modern Lao history. This approach illuminates not only present change but also its meaning in Lao history. This approach, we believe, demonstrates the essential meaning of “Chinatanakan Mai”. Based on this idea, we will analyze what is affected and what is not in the areas of party-state relations, local administration, fiscal systems, economic cooperation, education, agriculture, and development of minerals.


April 2009-March 2011

Members of the Research Project

[ Organizer ] YAMADA Norihiko
[ Co-researchers ] KEOLA Souknilanh
SUZUKI Motoyoshi (Economic Advisor, Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, Sierra Leone)
TOMITA Shinsuke
(Assistant Professor, Graduate School of Agriculture and Life Science, The University of Tokyo)
YANO Junko (Lecturer, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies)
(Assistant Professor, Graduate School of International Cooperation Studies, Kobe University)