Diffusion, transmutation, and regulatory regime in socialist market economies : Telecoms reform in China and Vietnam

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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  • Yukyung Yeo
  • Martin Painter


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)375-395
Journal / PublicationPacific Review
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2011


Marketization and state restructuring are proceeding apace in China and Vietnam. China and Vietnam are not, however, converging upon the global regulatory model, even allowing for customary national variations. Rather, they are building up distinctive forms of regulatory regimes aiming to maintain the party-state's control over key state sectors, while at the same time integrating with the global economy and conforming to international norms and standards. This study argues that the regulatory model being adopted in Vietnam and China is the product of a specific kind of transition from a command to a market economy within an authoritarian political regime. While diffusion theories are of use in identifying external driving forces for the reform effort, these theories are of limited value for unveiling the dynamics of local contexts. Indigenous incentives, opportunity structures, and the experimental nature of public policy explain why, despite their exposure to global reform movements and commitment to multilateral institutions, China and Vietnam are likely to end up not with just a variety of the same regulatory regime, but a different one. The case of telecommunications regulation is used to illustrate this. © 2011 Taylor & Francis.

Research Area(s)

  • China, Institutional transmutation, Policy diffusion, Regulatory regime, Telecoms reform, Vietnam