Negotiating the state-making in Vietnam borderland-case study of an ethnic minority group in central Vietnam

Trinh Nguyen Minh Anh, Doo Chul Kim, Fumikazu Ubukata

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The human geography of Vietnam's upland area has been transformed significantly during the last 40 years due to the increasing control from the central government. We argue that State territorialisation, understood as a strategy of State-making and assertion of the State's authority, has the tendency to marginalise, socially and politically, local ethnic minority peoples by excluding them from indigenous social and economic geography and the use of natural resources. At the receiving end of these official policies, the local ethnic minority people do not passively accept their marginalisation but are able to initiate the use of traditional cross-border cultural resources to improve their condition. By analysing the tolerance from local official towards illicit cross-border activities daily carried out by local people, the case study provides some insights on the dynamics of power struggle between the State and local people. We concluded that local ethnic minority peoples actively re-negotiate with more powerful State and economic actors and re-shape local border politics while the State is not always uncompromising and monolithic as it is usually portrayed.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Cross-border cultural resources
  • Ethnic minority
  • State-territorialisation
  • Vietnam

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Earth-Surface Processes


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