Citizen Participation in Vietnam’s Local Government: Impact on Transparency and Accountability

Thai Thi Thanh Hoa, Jean-Claude Garcia-Zamor

Abstract


Around the world, a growing crisis of legitimacy and complex problem solving characterize a sense of change in the state-citizen relationship. In Vietnam, the Doi Moi (renovation) process was carried out by the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) and the Government of Vietnam (GoV). Public institutions engaged at grassroots level by implementing a decree on “Regulation on Democracy Exercise” with the vision of a participatory society to improve the living standard of the Vietnamese people in general in order to enhance public service specifically. This article conceptualizes the concepts of Citizen Participation, Transparency, and Accountability in Vietnam. In the contested debates of the link between citizen participation and the two governance aspects, transparency and accountability, the article realizes the importance of achieving the balance from both sides of practice, as well as strengthen institutions that can reduce inefficiency and have real effectiveness. The fact that Vietnam just embarked on experimenting with policy initiatives encourages stronger citizen participation. Importantly, citizens participate in a number of elections for their delegates to local and national legislatures. One specific characteristic of public participation in Vietnam is that citizens somewhat are limited in participation by the nomination procedures and restriction in institutions. The article as a brief literature review on citizen participation and establishes the linkages between these three concepts. It reviews policy mechanisms for citizen participation and central-local power relationship. It stresses two main findings after performing sufficient empirical evidences. First, it argues that citizen participation can be an engine of good governance in local public institutions in Vietnam. Once policy window provides the population some space for their participation, it assures a widening scale of an efficient governing system. It founds that transparency and accountability of local governments are two outcomes of citizen participation.


Full Text:

PDF

References


Aikins, V. (2013). Democratic Governance and Citizen Participation: The Role of the Media in Ghana’s Budget Preparation Process. Master Thesis, International Institute of Social Studies, The Hague, The Netherlands.

Anderson, J. H., & Gray, C. W. (2006). Anticorruption in transition 3: who is succeeding... and why? World Bank Publications. https://doi.org/10.1596/978-0-8213-6692-9

Arnstein, S. R. (1969). A ladder of citizen participation. Journal of the American Institute of planners, 35(4), 216-224. https://doi.org/10.1080/01944366908977225

Bäck, H., & Hadenius, A. (2008). Democracy and state capacity: exploring a J‐shaped relationship. Governance, 21(1), 1-24. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0491.2007.00383.x

Beaumont, J., & Loopmans, M. (2008). Towards radicalized communicative rationality: resident involvement and urban democracy in Rotterdam and Antwerp. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 32(1), 95-113. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2427.2008.00780.x

Best, J. (2005). The limits of transparency: ambiguity and the history of international finance. Cornell University Press.

Biermann, F., & Gupta, A. (2011). Accountability and legitimacy in earth system governance: a research framework. Ecological economics, 70(11), 1856-1864. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolecon.2011.04.008

Bingham, L. B., Nabatchi, T., & O'Leary, R. (2005). The new governance: Practices and processes for stakeholder and citizen participation in the work of government. Public administration review, 65(5), 547-558. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-6210.2005.00482.x

Blair, H. (1998). Spreading power to the periphery. US Agency for International Development Center for Development Information and Evaluation.

Blakeley, G. (2010). Governing ourselves: citizen participation and governance in Barcelona and Manchester. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 34(1), 130-145. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2427.2010.00953.x

Brewer, B. (2007). Citizen or customer? Complaints handling in the public sector. International Review of Administrative Sciences, 73(4), 549-556. https://doi.org/10.1177/0020852307083457

Burall, S., & Neligan, C. (2005). The Accountability of International Organizations. Berlin, Germany: Global Policy Institute.

Canh, N. V. (1985). Vietnam under Communism, 1975-1982. Stanford CA: Hoover Institution Press.

CECODES, VFF-CRT & UNDP. (2016). The Viet Nam Governance and Public Administration Performance Index (PAPI) 2015. Hanoi, Vietnam: A Joint Policy Research Paper by Centre for Community Support and Development Studies (CECODES), Centre for Research and Training of the Viet Nam Fatherland Front (VFF-CRT), and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Commonwealth Foundation. (1999). The Way Forward: Citizens, Civil Society and Governance in the new Millennium. Commonwealth Foundation. London: Commonwealth Foundation.

Constitution of Vietnam. (1995). Constitution of Vietnam: 1946–1959–1980–1992. Hanoi: Gioi Publishers.

Cooper, T. L., & Gulick, L. (1984). Citizenship and professionalism in public administration. Public Administration Review, 44, 143-151. https://doi.org/10.2307/975554

Cornwall, A., & Gaventa, J. (2001). Bridging the gap: citizenship, participation and accountability. PLA notes, 40(2001), 32-35.

Dryzek, J. S., & List, C. (2003). Social choice theory and deliberative democracy: a reconciliation. British Journal of Political Science, 33(1), 1-28. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0007123403000012

Đurman, P. (2015). Citizen participation in public administration: the case of Croatian local government. Faculty of Law, University of Zagreb.

Edwards, M., & Hulme, D., eds. (1996). Beyond the magic bullet: NGO performance and accountability in the post-cold war world (p. 1). West Hartford, CT: Kumarian Press.

Etzioni, A. (2010). Moral dimension: Toward a new economics. Simon and Schuster.

Florin, P., & Wandersman, A. (1990). An introduction to citizen participation, voluntary organizations, and community development: Insights for empowerment through research. American Journal of Community Psychology, 18(1), 41-54. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00922688

Fölscher, A., & Gay, E. (2012). Fiscal transparency and participation in Africa: A study report. Pretoria, South Africa: The Collaboration Africa Budget Reform Initiative (CABRI).

Fung, A. (2006). Varieties of participation in complex governance. Public administration review, 66(1), 66-75. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-6210.2006.00667.x

Fung, A. (2015). Putting the public back into governance: The challenges of citizen participation and its future. Public Administration Review, 75(4), 513-522. https://doi.org/10.1111/puar.12361

Gainsborough, M. (2010). Present but not powerful: neoliberalism, the state, and development in Vietnam. Globalizations, 7(4), 475-488. https://doi.org/10.1080/14747731003798435

Gainsborough, M. (2010). Vietnam: Rethinking the state. Zed Books.

Gainsborough, M., Dinh, D. N., & Phuong, T. T. (2009). Corruption, Public Administration Reform and Development: Challenges and Opportunities as Viet Nam moves towards Middle-Income Status. In Reforming Public Administration in Vietnam (p. 379 - 430). Hanoi: The National Political Publishing House.

Gangl, A. (2000). It isn’t Fair: Do Perceptions of Procedural Justice in Evaluations of Congress matter more than getting what you want? Annual Meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association. Chicago, IL.

Global Campaign on Urban Governance. (2004). 72 frequently asked questions about participatory budgeting. UN-HABITAT.

Goetzman, W. (2000). Democracy Before Debt. The Good Society, 9(3), 67-67.

Goodin, R. E., & Dryzek, J. S. (2006). Deliberative impacts: the macro-political uptake of mini-publics. Politics & society, 34(2), 219-244. https://doi.org/10.1177/0032329206288152

Gutmann, A., & Dennis, T. (1996). Democracy and Disagreement. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Hannah, J. (2007). Local non-government organizations in Vietnam: development, civil society and state-society relations. Seattle, WA: Ph.D. Dissertation. University of Washington.

Heller, K., Price, R., Reinharz, S., Wanderson, A., & D’Aunno, T. (1984). In Psychology and community change: Challenges of the future (2nd ed.). Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole Publishing Company.

Hendriks, C. M. (2005). Participatory storylines and their influence on deliberative forums. Policy sciences, 38(1), 1-20. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11077-005-0870-3

Hibbing, J. R., & Theiss, M. E. (2002). Stealth democracy: Americans' beliefs about how government should work. Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511613722

Irvin, R. A., & Stansbury, J. (2004). Citizen participation in decision making: is it worth the effort? Public administration review, 64(1), 55-65. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-6210.2004.00346.x

Jabbra, J. G., & Dwivedi, O. P. (1988). Public service accountability: A comparative perspective. Hartford, CT: Kumarian Press.

Jalal, J. (1999). Democratic Decentralization in Urban Governance: A Comparative Study of Two Indian Cities. Institute of Development Studies Bulletin, 32(1).

Jenkins, R., & Goetz, A. M. (1999). Accounts and accountability: theoretical implications of the right-to-information movement in India. Third world quarterly, 20(3), 603-622. https://doi.org/10.1080/01436599913712

Jun, J. S. (2002). New Governance in Civil Society Changing Responsibility of Public Administration. Rethinking Administrative theory: The challenge of the new Century, 289-307.

Kaufmann, D., & Kraay, A. (2002). Growth without governance. World Bank. https://doi.org/10.1353/eco.2002.0016

Kerkvliet, B. (2003). Authorities and the people: an analysis of state-society relations in Vietnam. In Postwar Vietnam: Dynamics of a transforming society (Vol. 16, p. 27).

Kettani, D., Moulin, B., Gurstein, M., & El Mahdi, A. (2008). E-government and local good governance: a pilot project in Fez, Morocco. The Electronic Journal of Information Systems in Developing Countries, 35.

Khan, M. (2009). Pro-Growth Anti-corruption and Governance Reforms for Viet Nam: Lessons from East Asia. Public Administration Reform and Anti-Corruption: A series of policy discussion papers. Ha Noi, Viet Nam. Available at http://www.undp.org.vn/undpLive/detail/publications/publicationdetails?contentId=3295&languageId=1: United Nations Development Programme.

Kim, P. S. (2011). Civic engagement, politics and policy in South Korea: Significant developments but a considerable way to go. Public Administration and Development, 31(2), 83-90. https://doi.org/10.1002/pad.595

Kim, P. S., Halligan, J., Cho, N., Oh, C. H., & Eikenberry, A. M. (2005). Toward participatory and transparent governance: report on the Sixth Global Forum on Reinventing Government. Public Administration Review, 65(6), 646-654. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-6210.2005.00494.x

Kondo, S. (2002). Fostering dialogue to strengthen good governance. In Public Sector Transparency and Accountability: Making it Happen. Paris: OECD Publishing.

Long, N., & Kendall, H. H. (1981). After Saigon Fell: Daily Life under the Vietnamese Communists. Berkeley CA: Institute of East Asian Studies.

Macedo, S. (Ed.). (1999). Deliberative politics: Essays on democracy and disagreement. Oxford University Press.

Macedo, S., Alex-Assensoh, Y. M., Berry, J. M., & Brintnall, M. (2004). Democracy at Risk: Renewing the Political Science of Citizenship. American Political Science Association’s Standing Committee on Civic Education and Engagement.

Malesky, E., & Schuler, P. (2011). The Single‐Party Dictator's Dilemma: Information in Elections without Opposition. Legislative Studies Quarterly, 36(4), 491-530. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1939-9162.2011.00025.x

Mason, M. (2008). The governance of transnational environmental harm: addressing new modes of accountability/responsibility. Global Environmental Politics, 8(3), 8–24. https://doi.org/10.1162/glep.2008.8.3.8

Moore, M. (1995). Creating public value. Cambridge: Mass, Harvard.

Morrell, M. E. (1999). Citizen's evaluations of participatory democratic procedures: Normative theory meets empirical science. Political Research Quarterly, 52(2), 293-322. https://doi.org/10.1177/106591299905200203

Moynihan, D. P. (2003). Normative and instrumental perspectives on public participation: Citizen summits in Washington, DC. The American Review of Public Administration, 33(2), 164-188. https://doi.org/10.1177/0275074003251379

Nabatchi, T. (2012). Putting the “public” back in public values research: Designing participation to identify and respond to values. Public Administration Review, 72(5), 699-708. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-6210.2012.02544.x

Nguyen, N., Nguyen, D., Tran, T., Kirby, P., & Phan, T. (2010). Survey Report on Information Disclosure of Land Management regulations. Hanoi: Vietnam Development Information Center (VDIC).

OECD/OAS. (2002). Public Sector Transparency and Accountability: Making it Happen. Paris: OECD Publishing.

Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). (2006). The OECD Fights Corruption. Paris, France: OECD publications.

Pateman, C. (1970). Participation and democratic theory. Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511720444

Polletta, F. (2012). Freedom is an endless meeting: Democracy in American social movements. University of Chicago Press.

Putnam, R. D. (1995). Bowling alone: America's declining social capital. Journal of democracy, 6(1), 65-78. https://doi.org/10.1353/jod.1995.0002

Rodan, G., & Jayasuriya, K. (2007). The technocratic politics of administrative participation: case studies of Singapore and Vietnam. Democratization, 14(5), 795-815. https://doi.org/10.1080/13510340701635662

Rowe, G., & Frewer, L. J. (2004). Evaluating public-participation exercises: a research agenda. Science, technology, & human values, 29(4), 512-556. https://doi.org/10.1177/0162243903259197

Santiso, C. (2001). Good Governance and Aid Effectiveness: The World Bank and Conditionality. Georgetown Public Policy Review, 7, 1-22.

Sintomer, Y.; Herzberg, C.; Rocke, A.; & Allegretti, G. (2012). Transnational models of citizen participation: The case of participatory budgeting. Journal of Public Deliberation, 8(2), 1–32.

Stiglitz, J. (2002). Transparency in government. In The Right to Tell (p. 27).

Thomas, J. C. (2013). Citizen, customer, partner: Rethinking the place of the public in public management. Public Administration Review, 73(6), 786-796. https://doi.org/10.1111/puar.12109

UNDP, CECODES & the Vietnam Fatherland Front. (2011). The Viet Nam Provincial Governance and Public Administration Performance Index (PAPI) 2010. Hanoi, Vietnam: CECODES.

Vasavakul, T., Le, T., & Le, V. (2009). Public administration and economic development in Viet Nam: Reforming the public administration for the 21st century. In Reforming Public Administration in Viet Nam (p. 41).

Vishwanath, T., & D. Kaufmann. (1999). Towards Transparency in Finance and Governance. World Bank.

Wang, X., & Wan, W. M. (2007). When public participation in administration leads to trust: An empirical assessment of managers’ perceptions. Public Administration Review, 67(2), 265-278. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-6210.2007.00712.x

Yang, K., & Pandey, S. K. (2011). Further dissecting the black box of citizen participation: When does citizen involvement lead to good outcomes? Public Administration Review, 71(6), 880-892. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-6210.2011.02417.x




DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/jpag.v7i4.12044

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

Journal of Public Administration and Governance  ISSN 2161-7104

Copyright © Macrothink Institute

'Macrothink Institute' is a trademark of Macrothink Institute, Inc.

To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the 'macrothink.org' domain to your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders.