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5 - From Revolutions to COVID-19

Policing Narratives in Vietnam

from Part II - Authoritarian Policing: Past and Present

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  25 May 2023

Weitseng Chen
Affiliation:
National University of Singapore
Hualing Fu
Affiliation:
The University of Hong Kong
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Summary

This chapter examines narrative management as a core function of the police in Vietnam, tracing how this function evolved as an intimate expression of the regime’s politics and ideologies. Narrative management here refers to efforts by policing institutions to guide public opinion in accordance with the vision set forth by the party-state—a practice with a long tradition in socialist regimes. While much has been written about the hard measures of coercion, crackdowns, and punishment that are prevalent in authoritarian policing (and, arguably, in all policing), less is known about the soft public relations campaigns that play a sizable role in the work of Vietnamese policing institutions. The close relationship between the party-state, police, and civil society, down to the household and individual levels, is multifaceted. As analyzed herein, while police work on ideological education is deeply rooted in a desire to control civil society, the Vietnamese police’s grassroots service throughout the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrates that a close state–society relationship can also be used for a productive end when the state acts with legitimacy and transparency.

Type
Chapter
Information
Regime Type and Beyond
The Transformation of Police in Asia
, pp. 120 - 139
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2023

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