Decentralisation has emerged as a key issue of public sector reform for the last three decades. Vietnam has pursued decentralisation as a part of the broader process of the national ‘innovation’ (Doi moi) in 1986 and expanded in the late 1990s. Decentralisation has become the concerned topic of both practitioners and scholars in Vietnam. Despite the fact that many decentralisation policies have been performed, Vietnam could not achieve the stated goals of decentralisation. Furthermore, there is no comprehensive research on decentralisation from the legal perspective. This chapter firstly justifies the research rationale. Next, it provides the research questions as well as the methodological approach to achieve the declared contribution.

1.1.1. Theoretical Motivations

Along with many countries worldwide that have been experimenting with decentralization as a significant component of public sector reform, there is an array of studies which examines the origins, motivations, implications, process and outcomes of these decentralization policies from different perspectives. Some endeavours analyse the distinctive features of decentralisation policy across a range of different contexts in order to predict some potential dangers and recommend some measures for improvement. However, there is a fact that the systematic practical knowledge about decentralisation remains limited, and it is fair to say that it often does not meet expectations. Similar efforts can be also seen in the literature of decentralisation in Vietnam