Date: 14 Dec 2018
Time: 10.00 am - 11.30 am
Venue: ISEAS Seminar Room 2
VIETNAM STUDIES PROGRAMME SEMINAR
About the Seminar
The Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam made news in October 2018 by unanimously endorsing General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong to replace deceased President Tran Dai Quang. The co-appointment of the general secretary to the presidency marks a potentially dramatic shift in the balance of power within the Politburo and the future of Vietnam’s collective leadership style. While the true meaning of this change continues to be debated, an important understudied question is how this change might impact other institutions in Vietnam, such as its legislature. Where Vietnam’s legislature was once dormant, since 1992 it has become a more visible player in Vietnamese politics. The seminar argues that if the consolidation of power under the general secretary position is more than temporary, this will likely result in the sidelining of Vietnam’s most visible representative institution.
About the Speaker
Paul Schuler is an Assistant Professor at the University of Arizona, where he studies Southeast Asian politics, Vietnamese politics, and authoritarian institutions. He guest-lectures and publishes widely. His latest article is “Position Taking or Position Ducking? A Theory of Public Debate in Single-Party Legislatures,” Comparative Political Studies (March 2018). Earlier scholarship has appeared in the American Political Science Review and Comparative Politics, among other outlets. He is fluent in Vietnamese and has served as a UNDP consultant in Vietnam. His political science doctorate was earned with distinction at the University of California, San Diego.