Accepted paper:

Hung kings myths and Ideological struggle to establish Vietnamese identity

Author:

Phuc Anh Nguyen (Tokyo Metropolitan University)

Paper short abstract:

The research will focus on how Vietnamese political power controls the process of manipulation and propagation of Hung King myths in creating political identity and answers how Hùng King myths have been incorporated into consolidating and obtaining state power by very different ideological entities.

Paper long abstract:

This research project aims to answer how Hùng King myths have been incorporated into consolidating and obtaining state power by very different ideological entities, as well as the influence of political power on redefining Vietnam identity, making of a homogeneous nation in a top-down manner. From the perspective of power consolidation, I will investigate the policies-making and ideological role of state institutions in redefining Vietnamese identity by using Hùng kings myths to interpret the origin of Vietnamese in preordained directions. And from the aspect of obtaining political power, I will discuss the important role of Hùng Kings myths in the struggle for regime change by anti-state political forces. Before 1975, Hùng king myths were frequently in the ideological conflict between communists of North Vietnam and nationalists of South Vietnam. After 1975, these myths are used in the anti-state movements of exiles and dissidents. These movements, nonetheless, do not aim to help "the Vietnamese people" becoming better as declared. The motivation behind reconstructing new connotation of "Vietnamese identity" is to take over Communist authority. This research also provides a better understanding of the role of Hùng King myths in the process of establishing a new identity from a political perspective and the relation between this process and ideological movements of seeking or exercising state power. Through surveying the case study of Vietnam, our research will contribute to the current scholarly approach to political nationalism and its position in creating a homogeneous nation by using ideological tools.

panel P017
Governance, development and the state in South Asia