I was a practitioner before joining the JETRO Institute of Developing Economies. I served as a program officer for three years at the United Nations Development Program office in Vietnam. That experience piqued my interest in Vietnam and its development process, which led me to pursue a career in research. Initially, I was interested in the field of public administration and attempted to analyze socialist central–local relations by focusing on intergovernmental relations; however, it soon became clear that treating politics and public administration separately was not realistic. Since then, I have been studying functioning of the main components of the political system, including the Communist Party, the government, the parliament, and mass organizations, while monitoring the day-to-day political situation in Vietnam. I also conduct policy and institutional analysis of Vietnam’s labor export.
Current research projects
Today, Vietnamese politics seems to be standing at a major crossroads since the Doi Moi renewal policies were officially initiated in 1986. During the Doi Moi period, separation of the Party and the state became a basic principle, and the government and the parliament heightened their relative autonomy under the one-party dictatorship. However, since 2016, the Party’s control over the state as well as society has been strengthened once again. Therefore, my research focuses on questions such as whether this trend will continue and lead to fundamental changes in the relationship between the Party and the state and how such changes might affect the stability and sustainability of the regime. More generally, I continue to research how the Party leadership has attempted to stabilize and sustain the regime,and designed relevant institutions for that purpose. I also participate in comparative studies of authoritarian regimes.