Agrarian differentiation in post-socialist societies: Evidence from three upland villages in North-Western Vietnam

Thomas Sikor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


The literature on post-socialist transformations displays a fairly broad consensus that changes in macro structures of state and economy generate or increase rural inequality. This article examines the distributional effects of macro changes in Vietnamese villages. Findings from local-level research highlight the multiple ways in which people react to changes in macro structures. Core fields of negotiation by local people include exchange relations, the use of surplus, and land tenure. Local negotiation may lead to local-level trajectories of agrarian change that differ significantly from national-level changes. Changes in macro structures thus may not substantially alter the underlying process of differentiation. Rural people may be rich and poor for the same reasons as under collective agriculture, though income differences may have become more accentuated.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)923-949
Number of pages27
JournalDevelopment and Change
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2001


  • agrarian change
  • income distribution
  • land tenure
  • rural economy

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