What is it about?

Under the sole control of the communist party, Vietnam's civil service recruitment and promotion are highly politicized, and yet it has become more merit-based. By analysing this distinctive trajectory, this research shows that the conventional understandings of politicization need to be reconceptualised to include the combination of political and merit-based criteria and the intervention of the political party. Additionally, while problems with politicization are inevitable, potentially positive aspects of politicization in authoritarian regimes, including stronger political leadership, better responsive competency, and improving efficient governance, should not be overlooked.

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Why is it important?

Literature about the politicization of civil service recruitment and promotion generally treats loyalty and competence as being mutually exclusive and considers politicization to have negative consequences. While these studies focus mainly on multi-party democratic regimes, studies in other political settings like Vietnam show that the conventional wisdom is controversial. This research presents another picture of politicization that is different from mainstream research on politicization. This research also contributes to studies about the effects of politicization on development in developmental states

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This page is a summary of: The politicization of civil service recruitment and promotion in Vietnam, Public Administration and Development, April 2021, Wiley, DOI: 10.1002/pad.1910.
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