Legal Reform and Struggles Against Precarity: The Case of State Workers' Early Retirement in Vietnam

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Nguyen, Tu Phuong
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2019
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This paper contributes to the literature on precarity in Asia by examining the way in which state law interacts with social, political, and ideological factors in shaping experiences of precarity. Different from studies of precarity that see law as a set of state regulations underpinning the precarious economic and political status of individual workers, this paper adopts a socially grounded view of law that incorporates workers' understandings of and engagements with state law in commonplace settings. It also adopts a view of precarity as a complex dynamic of social, legal, and political processes shaping and reproducing workers' experiences of insecurity and vulnerability at work, rather than a broad, identity-based category of non-standard and informal types of employment. Through an ethnographic study of former state workers' working experiences in Vietnam, this paper sheds light on different aspects of workers' collective and individual struggles against precarity and workplace injustice, and the role that law plays in these struggles. It argues that law contributes to reinforcing workers' precarious experiences, which are underpinned by the tension between their expectations grounded in the socialist era and the realities of workplace injustice and insecurity in a market economy.

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Pacific Affairs

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92

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4

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© 2019 University of British Columbia. The attached file is reproduced here in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.

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Human society

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Nguyen, TP, Legal Reform and Struggles Against Precarity: The Case of State Workers' Early Retirement in Vietnam, Pacific Affairs, 2019, 92 (4), pp. 665-684

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