Reconfiguring the international Vietnamese diaspora and post Đổi mới migration: Citizenship, Networks and Belonging


Double Panel

Part 1

Session 9
Fri 11:00-12:30 Room 3.09

Part 2

Session 10
Fri 14:00-15:30 Room 3.09


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The changing nature of the international Vietnamese diaspora can be largely attributed to a growth in transnational migration from Vietnam since the launch of the ??i m?i reform in the late 1980s. This has included two main categories - labour migration and international student migration. In 2018, contract labour migrants numbered 500,000, the majority of which were hosted in Taiwan, Japan, and the Republic of Korea. Irregular migration has also constituted an important form of labour migration, without reliable statistical data, qualitative research indicates significant volumes of cross-border migration to China and Southeast Asia as well as temporary migration to Europe and Northern Africa. The number of Vietnamese students overseas in 2020 reached 190,000, according to The Ministry of Education and Training, placing Vietnam in the top ten biggest student sending countries in the world (destined mainly for United States, Australia, and Canada). These unprecedented opportunities for migration and mobility raise important questions about the on-going changes in Vietnamese diasporic communities, the proliferation of transnational networks and the shifting nature of citizenship and belonging. Citizenship is processual and performative. Belonging, on the other hand, is not fixed or ahistorical but subject to displacement by changing social, economic, and political circumstances.

This panel will offer reflections on the relationship between established diasporas and newer migrant communities in the Vietnamese diaspora according to networks, citizenship and belonging. Our presentations will be focused on, but not restricted to, the following questions:

  • How have recent patterns of Vietnamese migration transformed social relations within and between established Vietnamese diaspora communities? 
  • What role do translocal and transnational networks play in sustaining and transforming Vietnamese diasporic communities?
  • How are the changing policies towards migrants in various ‘host’ societies reshaping the contours and experiences of the Vietnamese migrants and the diaspora in specific national contexts?
  • How do migration and mobility reconfigure Vietnamese migrants’ understanding of citizenship and sense of belonging?
  • What implications does increased mobility have for Vietnamese transnational subjects’ on-going power struggles within nation-states over recognition and identity?