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Citizen Participation in City Governance: Experiences From Vietnam

Thang Nguyen, Canh Le, Bich T. Tran and Scott E. Bryant

Public Administration & Development, 2015, vol. 35, issue 1, 34-45

Abstract: The radical political and economic reforms sweeping through former socialist countries during the last several decades have facilitated economic growth and urbanization. During this period of market reform and urbanization, citizen participation is greatly needed yet easily lost to other priorities. We employ stakeholder theory to examine whether citizen participation differs between large and small cities and between the poor and non‐poor people in Vietnam. Using data from a sample of citizens in five centrally managed cities, we found that citizens in large cities and citizens that belong to “unofficially poor” groups participate less. For policy makers, this implies that citizen participation should be of central importance in the management of current cities' expansions. In addition, the categorization of “poor households” needs to be closely monitored to minimize the risk of de facto poor households being excluded from the group. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Date: 2015
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