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Constitutional Systems of the World
The Constitution of Vietnam
A Contextual Analysis
Mark Sidel    

This new book examines constitutional debate and development in one of the most dynamic and rapidly changing societies in Asia, and will be of use to scholars and students of comparative law, comparative constitutional law and Asian law, and practitioners interested in Asia or in Vietnam. The book discusses and analyses the historical development, principles, doctrines and debates which comprise and shape Vietnamese constitutional law today, during a time of reform and debate. The chapters are written in sufficient detail for anyone coming to the subject for the first time to develop a clear and informed view of how the constitution is arranged, how it works, and the main points of debate on it in Vietnamese society. It is written in an accessible style, with an emphasis on clarity and concision.

The book discusses and analyses the origins of Vietnamese constitutional thought; the first (1946) Constitution of independent Vietnam; Constitutional dialogue and debate in the late 1940s and 1950s, including the work of dissidents in the 1950s; the 1959 Vietnamese Constitution; constitutional dialogue and debate in the 1960s and 1970s; the 1980 Constitution; the rise of doi moi (renovation) and debates over constitutionalism in the 1980s; the 1992 Constitution, including the role of legislative, executive and judicial sectors, constitutional power and enforcement, constitutional rights and obligations, and other issues; constitutional dialogue and debate in the 1990s; the constitutional debate and revision process of 2001 and the current Vietnamese Constitution the rise of debate over judicial independence and constitutional enforcement and review in Vietnam; comparison to constitutional developments and debates in China; constitutions and constitutional issue in the former South Vietnam; the links and tensions between state and party constitutions; and concluding analysis of 60 years of the development of Vietnam's Constitution and constitutionalism.


Mark Sidel is Doyle-Bascom Professor of Law and Public Affairs at the University of Wisconsin.

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August 2009
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