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Ambivalent insurgencies: citizenship, land politics and development in Hanoi and its periurban fringe

Brakke, Gray (2023) Ambivalent insurgencies: citizenship, land politics and development in Hanoi and its periurban fringe. Urban Studies, 60 (6). pp. 1123-1138. ISSN 0042-0980

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Identification Number: 10.1177/00420980221135402


This article examines the Vietnamese state’s ambivalence towards insurgent assertions of urban citizenship in and around Hanoi. In the 1980s and 1990s, it tolerated the lawbreaking construction of self-built housing in the city centre and eventually extended self-builders land use rights for their extralegal claims. In the 2000s and 2010s, however, the state violently cracked down on periurban villagers using insurgent strategies to resist the expropriation of their agricultural land for master-planned real estate developments. I suggest that the insurgency of self-builders precipitated a regime of graduated land use rights wherein the informal, extralegal claims of self-builders have been more respected than the formal, legal claims of periurban villagers. I ultimately argue that the state’s ambivalent responses to insurgency result from its pursuit of a materially shifting ideology of developmentalism. I also find that the success of insurgency derives from how the interests of citizens, the local state and the national state align and realign with one another.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2023 Urban Studies Journal Limited
Divisions: LSE
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Date Deposited: 02 Feb 2023 16:54
Last Modified: 14 Jul 2024 21:33

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