Illegal logging in Vietnam: Lam Tac (forest hijackers) in practice and talk

Thomas Sikor, Phuc Xuan To

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)


This article examines the political economy of illegal logging through a case study from Vietnam. The study examines the extraction and trade of a particular timber species through commodity-chain analysis and looks at national-level debates about illegal logging, corruption, and the state. Its findings suggest that central government concerns over authority and public discussions about corruption informed the criminalization of much logging. Criminalization provided the grounds for powerful wholesalers, brokers, and government officials to engage in the timber business and control the timber trade. The logging operations, in turn, fed back into the concerns of the central government and public. The article concludes that these interactions between local political economy and national politics may be a more general dynamic of illegal logging. A singular focus on law enforcement may serve neither local livelihoods nor forest protection in areas with smallholder extraction.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)688-701
Number of pages14
JournalSociety & Natural Resources
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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