The ANU Southeast Asia Institute Research Seminar Series is a recurring seminar series that showcases the work of scholars within the ANU working on political, social and cultural issues in Southeast Asia, with the goal of encouraging greater exchange, collaboration and networking amongst the research community.



This event will be held in hybrid mode, i.e. in-person on the ANU Campus, and virtually on zoom.


IN-PERSON: Bell School Boardroom, Room 2.54, Level 2, 130 Garran Road, ANU, ACTON, ACT 2601

ONLINE: Zoom. Please select the relevant ticket, in-person or online, according to your preferred attendance mode.


The role of 'resources' in regime durability in Laos: The political economy of statist market socialism

This seminar argues the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, or Laos, draws upon three key types of “resources” in consolidating regime durability. Intentionally broad, the 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 modernisation.

The argument of this seminar 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 seminar will present 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.


The paper on which this seminar is based has been published as:

Creak, S. and K. Barney (2022). “The Role of ‘Resources’ in Regime Durability in Laos: The Political Economy of Statist Market Socialism”. Communist and Post-Communist Studies. doi:10.1525/cpcs.2022.1713051.



Dr Simon Creak is Assistant Professor of Southeast Asian history at the National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore



Dr Keith Barney is Associate Professor and Head of Department in the Resources, Environment and Development Group, Crawford School of Public Policy at the ANU



Photo credit: Memorial to the Lao Socialist Revolution, Vieng Xay, Laos, 2018 by Keith Barney


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Event details

Event date

Thu, 25 May 2023, 3:30 - 5pm



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