Recent Research On The Emergence Of civil society in Asia has illustrated that a range of nonstate actors have begun exercising a demonstrable influence on the politics of many countries in the region. Whether it be such grand manifestations as urban white collar workers or students mobilizing in South Korea to end the rule of Chun Doo Hwan (Lee 1993, 351); the urban Thai middle class uniting in the spring of 1992 to end the authoritarian Suchinda regime (Paribatra 1993); the more assertively political groups such as nongovernmental organizations in Korea, Thailand, and Taiwan working to protect the environment (Lee 1993; Paribatra 1993; Weller and Hsiao 1998); or the more prosaic groups of Chinese factory workers, entrepreneurs, crime syndicates, or qigong devotees slowly reworking the state's boundaries (Chamberlain 1993; Madsen 1993; McCormick, Su and Xiao 1992; Perry 1993; Wank 1995), nonstate actors are challenging the state's control over political life and attempting to redefine the political realm in ways that accommodate their own needs and interests. In Viet Nam, as Carlyle Thayer notes, the development of civil society is at a “nascent” stage in which there is still “little scope for the organisation of activity independent of the party-led command structures” (Thayer 1992, 111). However, despite their relative organizational weakness, Vietnamese citizens have begun asserting their own voice in politics. Emboldened by the 1986 Renovation (Dô'i Mó'i) policy's agenda toward “‘broadening democracy’” (Turley 1993a, 263), many Vietnamese have taken advantage of this opportunity to participate more directly in the political process.

The text of this article is only available as a PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.