Electrification and New Rural Development in Vietnam – the Making of a “For-People State”

Since Vietnam introduced its economic reforms in 1986, the increasingly widening gap between urban and rural areas has urged the Vietnamese state to intensify rural development programmes to live up to its slogan of a state “of the people, by the people and for the people”. My PhD research will look at how and to which degree electricity, seen by the party state as a vital component of rural infrastructure, has played a role in state-making and citizen-creating through state projects of rural development and electrification. The study will also explore how current challenges and opportunities of energy restructuring could generate new forms of state – citizen relationships in both urban and rural settings. The study is aimed at analyzing the ongoing process of state-making in a transitioning socialist country from an infrastructural perspective.

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