Fish for Transparency: Challenges of environmental governance from the perspective of food-driven protests

Thai Nguyen Van Quoc, Elen-Maarja Trell, Ronald Holzhacker



In the aftermath of a mass fish death along the coastal area of Central Vietnam in April 2016, disdain and frustration of the public soon escalated into widespread protests. These protests arose in response to evasion and oppressive tactics from the government. Using discourse analysis, this chapter identifies the different narratives between the government and the activists. This mismatch reveals challenges to governance in Vietnam in the form of a lack of participatory platform. The chapter explores how the theme of fish contributed to the narrative of protestors in rural and urban areas in Vietnam and where they differ. Our analysis indicates that food, as a socio-political lens, has seemingly unified the voices of rural and urban protestors and might have potential to consolidate the existing discourses on civil society. The socio-political imagery of masses of dead fish depicted a life-threatening reality that transcended mere everyday discomfort or technical failures. The fish death, as reconstructed through various media sources, highlighted the role of food as a medium for transboundary socio-political activism. In this sense, food and the related discourse has a bounding effect on some narratives but also functions as a frame to illustrate the challenged relationship between the government and its people.
Originele taal-2English
TitelChallenges of Governance
SubtitelDevelopment and Regional Integration in Southeast Asia and ASEAN
RedacteurenRonald L. Holzhacker, Wendy Guan Zhen Tan
Plaats van productieCham
Aantal pagina's22
ISBN van elektronische versie978-3-030-59054-3
ISBN van geprinte versie978-3-030-59053-6
StatusPublished - 2021

Publicatie series

NaamDevelopment and Governance

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