It is my great pleasure to inform you about the successful Ph.D. defense of Dr. Pham Van Thuy, here at Leiden University, just two days ago.The title of Pham Van Thuy’s thesis: « Beyond Political Skin: Convergent Paths to an Independent National Economy in Indonesia and Vietnam (1930-65). »
As the title indicates, Thuy’s research interests focuse on comparative historical study of the political economy of Vietnam and Indonesia as well as other Southeast Asian countries in the colonial and post-colonial periods. The thesis itself is a very important piece of research on a neglected subject: a comparison of the policies developed by the two newly independent and war-embroiled Indonesian and Vietnamese (DRV and RVN) states. I am attaching the thesis’s abstract to this email.
Thuy’s scholarly achievement is in many ways exceptional. From Vietnam National University (VNU) in Hanoi where he obtained his first BA degree in 2005, he joined the ENCOMPASS (Encountering a Common Past in Asia) programme a the Institute for History, University of Leiden. This means that Thuy studied simultaneously three languages – English, Bahasa Indonesia and Dutch – whilst he completed a second BA (2007) and then an MPhil degree (2009) before being appointed to a four-year Ph.D. position at the Faculty of Humanities, Leiden University, to carry out his doctoral research. Since 2006, he is Lecturer at VNU’s Faculty of History, School of Social Sciences and Humanities.
Pham Van Thuy is one of the few young Vietnamese historians who can claim to be truly knowledgeable about another Southeast Asian country, its language as well as the language of its former colonial occupyers. He used the two languages to work at both the Dutch and Indonesian archives and to read secondary source materials. Understandably, after having devoted comparably more efforts to research on Indonesia, he wants to deepen his knowledge about his own country and interact more with other Vietnam scholars. He is currently studying French and already plans to go to Aix-en-Provence!
Source : VSG
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Beyond Political Skin:
Convergent Paths to an Independent National Economy in Indonesia and Vietnam
The study discusses the transformation from a colonial into a national economy in Indonesia and Vietnam. It focuses on two intertwined processes of economic decolonization and reconstruction in the two countries after the Second World War, paying special attention to political and institutional factors involved in these processes. The study demonstrates that, although differences in the political situations resulted in the adoption of divergent strategies, Indonesia and Vietnam were in fact pursuing similar long-term goals, namely: to attain an independent national economy. The Indonesian government was determined to get rid of the economic legacy of Dutch colonialism by placing the whole economy under the strong state control and ownership, in accordance with the spirit of Guided Democracy and Guided Economy in the late 1950s and the early 1960s. This effort resembled much the socialist transformation of North Vietnam in the late 1950s and the various means by which the Ngo Dinh Diem government of South Vietnam concentrated economic power in its hands during the late 1950s and the early 1960s.