Liberal Constitutionalism and the Socialist State in an Era of Globalisation: An Inquiry into Vietnam’s Constitutional Discourse and Power Structures

By Thiem H. Bui.

Published by The Global Studies Journal

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The article explores the influences of liberal constitutionalism over the socialist state in an era of globalisation and its impacts on the power structures. Embarking on market-based reforms, the socialist state is increasingly facing with pressures for changes in the Constitution to narrow gaps between real practices and written legal rules as well as to deal with problems in existing governance structure and demands for democratic rights from the public. In that context, political liberalism is making inroads into emerging constitutional discourse which is traditionally dominated by socialist theory. The paper examines the impacts of liberal constitutionalism on Vietnam’s constitutional discourse and power structures and its limits in transforming statist socialism. It is argued that while Vietnam’s constitutional discourse is absorbing many elements of liberal constitutionalism, syncretism controlled by the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) limits changes in the foundation of power structures and state-society relations.

Keywords: Liberal Constitutionalism, Socialist State, Communist Party of Vietnam, Power

Global Studies Journal, Volume 5, Issue 2, pp.43-54. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 274.113KB).

Thiem H. Bui

PhD Candidate and Tutor, School of Political Science and International Studies, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia

He is a PhD candidate at the University of Queensland in Australia under the sponsorship of the Australia Leadership Award. He holds a Masters degree in international studies and diplomacy from the School of Oriental and African Studies, the University of London as a Chevening Scholar, and a BA in international relations from the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam. Before his PhD candidature, he was deputy director of Department for General Affairs and a researcher at the Institute for Legislative Studies of the National Assembly Standing Committee of Vietnam. He is a member of the Vietnam Lawyers Association (VLA) and between 2009-2011 was a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Law and Development of the VLA.


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