During the 1990s, leaders of the Vietnamese Communist Party (VCP) have implemented policies to reorganize and strengthen state institutions, while retaining the party's leadership. In politics, they have reformed the VCP apparatus itself, the state administrative system, the National Assembly, and the Fatherland Front and mass organizations. In the economic sphere, they have endorsed the leading role of the state and collective sectors, along with recognition of the rights of other sectors. In the cultural realm, they have assigned to the Ministry of the Interior the tasks of eliminating “social evils”, and recentralized the power of the Office of the Prime Minister and the Ministry of Culture and Information to handle cultural production in both state and non-state sectors. In foreign relations, they have revived and continued ties with communist parties, while diversifying economic relations with other members of the international community. The former has served to reinforce the position of the VCP, while the latter has served Vietnam's economic development.
The rebuilding of state institutions in Vietnam in the 1990s should be seen as part of a process to re-establish hierarchies lost following Vietnam's move away from central planning in the 1980s. The 1990s mark the beginning of the third wave of state building in Vietnam since 1945. The first occurred after the end of the Franco-Viet Minh War in 1954 during the transition from colonial capitalism to state socialism; the second took place after reunification of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRV) and the Republic of Vietnam (RVN) in 1975 when the DRV model was imposed on former South Vietnam and when the communist leadership moved to implement its large-scale socialist development plan.
Several factors precipitated the leadership's move to elevate and strengthen the role of state institutions. First, the only ideological capital the Vietnamese leadership had accumulated, Vietnam's recent socialist past, favoured a state-oriented model of development. Second, Vietnamese leaders needed a new and efficient institutional framework in order to promote further economic growth.