Vietnamese American Philanthropy to Vietnam: The Mediation of Diplomacy, Trust and Identity

Vu Thi Quynh Giao, Emerging Leader, International Fellows Program ~ 2013




Following the end of the Vietnam War in 1975, a number of Vietnamese refugees settled in the US since forming a significant population of Vietnamese Americans—many of whom maintain strong ties with Vietnam through individual and collective forms of diaspora giving. In this research paper, author Vu Giao Thi Quynh attempts to categorize the most prominent models of diaspora philanthropy, in relation to three overarching factors that mediate the philanthropic process, i.e. diplomacy (US-Vietnam relations), trust (between Vietnamese Americans and the Vietnamese government, as well as the Vietnamese people), and identity (Vietnamese Americans’ identities as the Vietnamese Party-State projects and as they perceive themselves). She closes the paper with a list of recommendations for practitioners in regard to the mentioned mediators of diaspora philanthropy, while cautioning that the most important thing for Vietnamese American philanthropists to understand is Vietnam itself—full of uncertainties and complex developments of civil society.



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