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Laos in 2020: Reaping a harvest of unity and debt

journal contribution
posted on 01.01.2021, 00:00 authored by H High
In 2020, Laos successfully contained the spread of COVID-19, with very few cases and no deaths. The key elements of the COVID-19 response reflect not only public health advice but also the core values of the political culture promoted by the ruling Lao People’s Revolutionary Party. These include unity, solidarity, struggle, respect for science, guidance by a strong center, and the extension of the state into everyday life in the form of designated roles, committees, and organizations. These significantly shaped the social fabric drawn on in the COVID-19 response. This success, then, can be read as a reaping of some of the benefits of this political culture. More ominously, the global pandemic exacerbated Lao PDR’s public debt crisis. Born of years of government backing of megaprojects such as hydropower, this debt is the dark harvest of the LPRP’s reign.

History

Journal

Asian Survey

Volume

61

Issue

1

Pagination

144 - 148

Publisher

University of California Press

Location

Berkeley, Calif.

ISSN

0004-4687

eISSN

1533-838X

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

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Categories

Exports