Laos is one of the few remaining countries that advocates socialism. I have conducted historical research on why a socialist state was established in Laos. According to previous studies, on December 2, 1975, immediately after the end of the Second Indochina War, the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party, which advocated Marxism-Leninism, established a single-party system during the transition from the monarchy, which had ruled for about 30 years, to the current People’s Democratic Republic. In my 2020 doctoral dissertation, I reexamined the reality of the 1975 revolution by clarifying the history of the party’s repeated cycle of cooperation and competition among various domestic and foreign forces since its formation in 1955. One of the characteristics of my research is the use of materials from the Communist Party of Vietnam, which has a “special relationship” with the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party.
Current research projects
I am currently conducting research on the persistence of the socialist state in Laos from two perspectives. One concerns the relationships with other socialist countries. Lao diplomacy has become more diversified since the end of the Cold War. At the same time, Vietnam and China are still Laos’ two main allies, and the relationship with these two countries is close economically and politically. In my research, I am analyzing the impacts that both China and Vietnam have had on nation-building in Laos. The other perspective concerns relationships with traditional authorities. While advocating socialism, the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party has taken a relatively moderate stance toward royalty and Buddhist monks. My research aims to empirically explain how the party has attempted to stabilize the foundation of the state by both incorporating and excluding traditional authorities that have had a strong influence on the people.