The Role of “Resources” in Regime Durability in Laos The Political Economy of Statist Market Socialism

Simon Creak, Keith Barney

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    This article argues the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, or Laos, draws upon three key types of “resources” in consolidating regime durability. Intentionally broad, our conception of resources encompasses not just natural resources managed by the state on behalf of the national community, but also the ideological and institutional resources that underpin the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party (LPRP) program of industrial resourcification and modernization. Our argument focuses on the mutual constitution and coproduction of natural, ideological, and institutional regime resources using a triptychal model to understand their integrative contribution to regime durability in Laos. This approach illuminates an evolving and pragmatic form of “statist market socialism” that contrasts with the common view of Laos as an aspiring if imperfect market-based developing economy. After defining statist market socialism and the regime’s three key resources, the article presents a case study from Laos’ strategic hydropower sector, to demonstrate how the triptych of regime resources combine in practice to support and sustain LPRP rule.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)35-58
    JournalCommunist and Post-Communist Studies
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2022


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