Contending Views and Conflicts over Land in the Red River Delta since Decollectivisation

TitleContending Views and Conflicts over Land in the Red River Delta since Decollectivisation
Annotated RecordNot Annotated
Year of Publication2004
AuthorsNguyễn_Văn_Sửu _
Paginationi-xiii, 1-290
Key themesAccessToJustice, AgriculturalModernization, CivilSociety-Donors, Distribution, Urban

Contending Views and Conflicts over Land in the Red River Delta since Decollectivization is an anthropological study in which I offer a new approach exploring the viewpoints of various parties to analyze their attitudes, relations and conflicts over land in Vietnam's dynamic Red River delta after decollectivization. I also evaluate how and in what ways industrialization and modernization, as well as the effects of urbanization, marketization, and to a lesser extent globalization, have affected Red River Delta villagers' views and relations towards agricultural land. Drawing on various sources of data, especially ethnographic field research, I examine local responses to a number of essential land issues such as the process of agricultural decollectivization, programs for land use rights compensation, the politics of communal land management and use, and the problem of local cadre corruption in relation to land resources. My detailed descriptions and analyses of a number of land-based conflicts not only demonstrate the various meanings and values of land for the parties involved, but also show the complicated picture of attitudes, relations and conflicts over land. Moving beyond reflections of various existing theoretical perspectives on agrarian and peasant studies such as moral economy, political economy, socio-cultural dynamics, everyday politics and others, I present an overall argument of contending views as the dynamics for conflicts over land rights. More specifically, I argue that in the context of significant changes in the land tenure regime and related socio-economic programs in Vietnam, and under the effects of urbanization, marketization and globalization in the studied area since decollectivization, the meaning and value of agricultural land have increased to both villagers, the state and other parties. In such a dynamic context, diverse groups of ordinary villagers share some· common views that both agree and disagree with the view of some state institutions over decision-making, distribution, and holding of quyJn sa hitu [ownership rights], quyJn quim ly (management rights], and quyJn sit d1,mg [use rights] to agricultural land. The contending views toward such land rights have led a number of villagers to become involved in public resistance in land conflicts, and as a result, in the dynamics of land-based conflicts in a number of communities. These contending views and conflicts over land have affected the state in different ways, including changing state land tenure policy to accommodate the villagers' views and to resolve land-based conflicts.


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