Dr. Alexander Vuving has contributed a chapter to the new book “Vietnam: Navigating a Rapidly Changing Economy, Society, and Political Order” by Börje Ljunggren and Dwight Perkins, eds. His chapter is “The Evolution of Vietnamese Foreign Policy in the Doi Moi Era.

According to the book’s abstract, this chapter traces the evolution of Vietnamese foreign policy since the 1980s. “This chapter identifies four major turning points in its trajectory. Each turning point was triggered by an event or a series of events that profoundly altered the international environment of Vietnam’s quest for identity, resources, and security. These events exerted an enormous impact not only on the conditions under which the country operates but also on Vietnamese views of the world and the key actors in their international environment. When Vietnam’s ruling elites responded to these changes, they set in motion corresponding changes in Vietnamese domestic and foreign policy. The foreign policy periods bracketed by the turning points thus roughly corresponded with phases in the evolution of the Vietnamese state. This paper will tease out the complex relationships between the international environment, the nature of the Vietnamese state, and Vietnamese foreign policy and shed light on the worldviews and motives behind Vietnam’s foreign policy.

“The key challenge to current Vietnamese foreign policy, which has also been its main shortcoming in the last three decades, is that Vietnam’s policymakers often view the world through the prism of a bygone era. The last section of the paper will briefly scan the horizon for the next turning point in Vietnamese foreign policy.”

A pre-print version is available at https://osf.io/preprints/socarxiv/nqzhf.

Alexander Vuving is a professor at the Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies in Honolulu. The views expressed are those of the author alone and do not represent the official policy of the DKI APCSS, the U.S. Department of Defense, or the U.S. government.