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Title: Tanzania and Vietnam : a comparative political economy of economic transition
Author: Gray, Hazel Sophia
Awarding Body: SOAS, University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 2012
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This thesis explores the process of economic transition in two contemporary developing countries from a political economy perspective. Tanzania and Vietnam were at the forefront of the struggle to construct socialism in the twentieth century. Since the 1990s Tanzania and Vietnam have been championed by international development institutions as success stories of market liberalization, achieving growth rates above their regional averages. Yet both economies have also been associated with high levels of corruption under the continued control of the pre-reform ruling party. The pattern of economic growth cannot be adequately explained by New Institutional Economics. Instead, the thesis uses a Political Settlements framework for analysis. Features of the formative socialist political settlement were critical for the evolution of the political settlement under liberalisation. The thesis explores how the political settlement influenced processes of political redistribution, primitive accumulation and technology acquisition under liberalisation. These processes are examined through case studies of reform in public finance, land management and industrial policy. Tanzania and Vietnam both have cohesive party states based on consolidated political power within the party institutions. The distribution of power within the party and society and the relationship between political and economic power were critical determinants of economic transition. While each of these states were able to direct some resources centrally to new economic activities, informal processes outside the central political institutions played a more important role in determining the path of the key transition processes. Both countries largely failed to manage rents that could generate greater productivity growth. Further, the focus on market liberalisation and roll back of the state did not strengthened state capacities in these critical areas. This does not auger well for the longer term path of economic development in Tanzania and Vietnam.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral