Vietnam’s 13th Congress: Institutional Resilience or Institutional Decay?

My analysis on the Diplomat, can be read via the link here: https://thediplomat.com/2021/01/vietnams-13th-congress-institutional-resilience-or-institutional-decay/

A short summary: I argue that the main focus of this month’s Congress is not only about who would be the next leaders, but also about how the VCP – and General Secretary Trong himself – solves two pressing contradictions of its institutional arrangements. Those are the dilemmas of urgency versus sustainability in the selection of new leadership, and the tension between increasing bottom-up intra-party democracy and the lingering preference for top-down “democratic centralism.” The 13th Congress could well mark a critical juncture, which will either ensure the VCP’s institutional resilience or mark the beginning of its institutional decay.

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