Prospects for Social, Ecological, and Economic Transformation in Vietnam: From Practice to Policy

Social Justice | 27.10.2020

Prospects for Social, Ecological, and Economic Transformation in Vietnam: From Practice to Policy

The interdisciplinary nature of science today has gone beyond the boundaries between disciplines, created a continuous development of knowledge, and became a major feature of modern science and technology. In fact, an increasing number of interdisciplinary studies are providing scientific and practical evidences to address major social challenges on a global and national scale.


In the context of the exhaustion of natural resources and environmental pollution, as a result of over-focus on economic growth, along with development and climate change, the adjustment of national development strategies has become very urgent. In order to accomplish this goal and mission, each country’s measures need to consider the socio-ecological value system to ensure the sustainability of development strategies. This is the foundation for forming and increasing research directions on Social, Ecological, and Economic Transformation – SEET.


Social, Ecological and Economic Transformation concentrates on aspects of transformation left open around sustainable development and its impacts. The Transformation concept introduced in the “Great Transformation” discussion that describes the separation between economy and society proposed by K. Polanyi1 in 1995. Karl Polanyi wrote about the first major transformation: “Industrial civilization gave birth to human elements”. In Germany, the German Government Advisory Council on Global Change called for a “Social contract for a great transformation” which refers to social and ecologic dimensions in economic development policy. From K. Polanyi’s idea, the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation (Germany) built and called for a second great transformation that requires consideration of the social and ecological value system of the economic development policy in the context of globalization. This transformation is achieved through social and ecologic reconstruction . This point of view is increasingly given attention, researched and applied by European, Latin American and Asian countries in the policy-making and planning process.


As a so called “developing country”, Vietnam has been facing ecological and social problems in its transition to a socialist-oriented market economy. Therefore, this is an urgent time for Vietnam to find solutions to contemporary socio-economic problems. Applying the SEET approach can bring innovative solutions to the current production methods and lifestyles in Vietnam.


The Institute of Policy and Management (IPAM) and the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung Southeast Asia (RLS SEA) have cooperated to implement the first research projects on SEET in Vietnam from 2018 up to now. SEET is an interdisciplinary research direction focusing on common interests on a real sustainable development and policy implications for ensuring a balance between social, ecological, and economic factors. The purpose of this interdisciplinary research direction is to create knowledge that allows approach and proposal of practical solutions to ensure a better future for all. The main focus of the social, ecological and economic transformation research is to find ways to change the current production methods and lifestyles by examining and assessing the impact of the current methods on the social and ecologic foundation.


After more than 3 years of implementing research projects on SEET, it is our pleasure to present the first publication on SEET in Vietnam. The book is a miscellany of 27 articles by domestic and foreign authors that refer and analyze issues surrounding social, ecological, and economic transformation, from theory to practice, from practice to policy. There are 03 main parts:


Part 1 is a collection of research on social, ecological, and economic transformation aspects in Vietnam and other regional countries, with the emphasis on environmental security, non-traditional security in the wake of the Fourth Industrial Revolution in Vietnam. Each article expresses different points of view while outlines a complete picture of the issues surrounding SEET in Vietnam.


Part 2 contains articles introducing several practices and social, ecological, and economic models within different parts of Vietnam. Vietnam is facing many ecological and social challenges in its transition to a socialist-oriented market economy. These articles also provide an overview of the approach to SEET. Accordingly, “social, ecological, and economic transformation” is understood as the establishment of connections between social, ecological, and economic factors in a country’s development strategy to ensure sustainable development goals and far beyond. This process is associated with the identification of the linkages between the society, ecology, and economy; the consideration of the impact of current socio-ecological activities and practical solutions to ensure stability and balance among development factors towards future society. SEET models in various areas such as agricultural management, land, water resources management, farming environment... are associated with the stakeholders’ roles in particular and the community in developing this model.


Part 3 is the perspectives and research results on policy and management prospects in social, ecological, and economic transformation. Following the theories and practical aspects of SEET, initial assessments of challenges in the implementation of policies to ensure the socio-economic and ecological balance are developed into policy implications on sustainable development.


Through this publication, the Institute of Policy and Management and the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung Southeast Asia - Hanoi Office expect to continue spreading and expanding the research directions on SEET in Vietnam, and become the foundation for the formation of research groups, think tank, regional interdisciplinary scientific forums on SEET in the upcoming time. With a high sense of responsibility, we are pleased to present the book “Prospects for Social, Ecological and Economic Transformation in Vietnam: From Practice to Policy”.





Publisher: The Gioi Publisher

Author: Nguyen Van Thanh – Dao Thanh Truong – Philip Degenhardt

Date: 2020-03-12

Pages: 513

Download: (En-Vi)

Hashtags:  #SEET #Policy

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