Phillip Taylor (2007) State attitude towards rural people and ethnic minorities

'... in the government's suite of programs for rural development, the state is responsive to other interests as well: donors such as the Australian and US governments and multilateral agencies such as the World Bank, which offer aid conditional on the adoption of market-based policies. There are strong indications that these interests—and those of an increasingly assertive urban middle class—have captured the voice of government, whose approach to rural development today embodies a mix of deference toward universally applicable laws of development and a paternalistic attitude toward rural people. This attitude is especially evident in depictions of rural people in official development reports as poor, backward, remote, unconnected, unaware, and dependent on the state for their uplift. It is most blatantly revealed in official attitudes toward ethnic minorities, including Khmer people..., whose “backward” customs, religious orientations, and cultural insularity are deemed to impede the operation of markets and of state programs, the beneficial effects of which are taken for granted.'

Phillip Taylor (2007) Poor policies, wealthy peasants: alternative trajectories for rural development in Vietnam

Martin Gainsborough's (2003) interpretation of big corruption cases in the 1990s

'... big corruption cases are best understood as an attempt by the political centre to discipline the lower levels of the party-state against a backdrop of increased decentralisation under reform. Such an interpretation, it is argued, makes sense both of the increased frequency with which big corruption cases have occurred in the 1990s and also the ferocity with which they have been executed. It also represents a more authentically political account insofar as the centre is no longer seen as simply clamping down on corruption "in the public interest" but rather is seen as representing one side in a struggle for influence between different levels of the state, where the prize is control over economic resources. Moreover, the successful prosecution of Tamexco and other big corruption cases, along with the centre's assertion of its authority in a number of other areas... suggests that the centre is far from a spent force. This is frequently not the dominant view in the academic literature.

The ideas put forward here also shed light on another issue, namely how we understand the "rule of law". Prosecution of big corruption cases through the courts might be read as representing a positive development as the party, once regarded as being "above the law", is now seen as willing to subject the disciplining of its own ranks to just legal process. However... more convincing is the idea that the "rule of law" is being used to pursue the interests of one particular arm of the state, namely the centre. This ties with a distinction in the China literature between "rule of law" and "rule by law". The suggestion is that China is moving in the direction of the latter than the former. Such an observation also appears appropriate in the Vietnamese case.'

Martin Gainsborough (2003) Corruption and the Politics of Economic Decentralisation in Vietnam