Redirecting the revolution? The USA and the failure of nation-building in South Vietnam

@article{Latham2006RedirectingTR,
  title={Redirecting the revolution? The USA and the failure of nation-building in South Vietnam},
  author={Michael E. Latham},
  journal={Third World Quarterly},
  year={2006},
  volume={27},
  pages={27 - 41}
}
  • Michael E. Latham
  • Published 1 February 2006
  • Political Science, Sociology
  • Third World Quarterly
Abstract This article will examine the ideology and practice of the USA's nation-building campaign in South Vietnam in the 1960s. Specifically, it will analyse the way in which US officials and social scientists conceived of development and promoted it as a weapon for anti-communist counter-insurgency. Convinced that they could modernise South Vietnam in ways that would undercut the sources of the revolution and create a liberal, capitalist state, they embarked on a comprehensive programme of… 
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TLDR
This essay argues that Simulmatics's work captures some of the ironies of Cold War social science: its tendency to mask militarization behind the rhetoric of peaceful nation-building, its blurring of data collection and intelligence gathering, and its ambitious dedication to revealing the unseen contents of hearts and minds while remaining ignorant of the historical, cultural, and linguistic contexts in which its subjects lived.
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The aim of this paper is to explain the divergent developmental outcomes between South Korea, Taiwan, and South Vietnam. Whilst US aid has correctly been cited as key factor in explaining the rapid
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