September 2020 Book
Fishers, Monks and Cadres
Navigating State, Religion and the South China Sea in Central Vietnam.
By EDYTA ROSZKO
This remarkable and very timely ethnography explores how fishing communities living on the fringe of the South China Sea in central Vietnam interact with state and religious authorities as well as their farmer neighbours – even while handling new geopolitical challenges. The focus is mainly on marginal people and their navigation between competing forces over the decades of massive change since their incorporation into the Socialist Republic of Vietnam in 1975. The sea, however, plays a major role in this study as does the location: a once-peripheral area now at the centre of a global struggle for sovereignty, influence and control in the South China Sea. Edyta Roszko is a social anthropologist and senior researcher at Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI) in Norway. For over fifteenth years, she has undertaken ethnographic research on Chinese and Vietnamese fisheries and militia in the common maritime space of the South China Sea. Connectivity of fishers compelled her to historicize fishing communities and to work beyond the nation-state and area studies framework. Her newly awarded European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grant project TransOcean at CMI expands her geographic field beyond Vietnam and China to include other global regions in Oceania and in West and East Africa.