A policy researcher and columnist's post-ideological musings
Khắc Giang Nguyễn firmly believes there is a need to give civil society more of a voice, but he also thinks this need not mean major political reforms as many an ideology has proven to be problematic once implemented.
For our interview we went for a Sunday afternoon stroll around Hoàn Kiếm Lake followed by a coffee. We chatted about why how his personality and lack of connections make him unsuitable to be a politician, what happens when a people forgets to nurture its creative side and what is lost when written from one perspective only.
Từ những suy nghĩ hậu ý thức hệ của mình, Nguyễn Khắc Giang - một cây viết, một nhà nghiên cứu chính sách tin tưởng rằng xã hội dân sự của chúng ta cần được trao quyền nhiều hơn, nhưng anh cũng cho rằng việc này không có nghĩa là cần có một cải cách chính trị lớn vì sự thật là nhiều hệ tư tưởng đã được chứng minh là không thích hợp sau khi được áp dụng.
Trong cuộc phỏng vấn lần này, chúng tôi đã đi dạo một vòng quanh hồ Hoàn Kiếm trong một chiều Chủ Nhật, và thưởng thức một tách cà phê. Chúng tôi đã nói chuyện về việc tại sao tính cách và việc thiếu các mối quan hệ lại khiến anh không thể trở thành một chính trị gia, việc gì sẽ xảy ra khi chúng ta quên không nuôi dưỡng mặt sáng tạo của mình và cái gì sẽ bị mất đi khi chúng ta chỉ viết từ một góc nhìn.
Giang's blog - The Worldview of an Asian
Giang's VN Express column
This is Vietnam’s Renovation Generation. Sonic portraits of young minds re-shaping the country’s future.
Policy researcher and columnist Khắc Giang Nguyễn believes there is a need to give civil society a voice and that this can happen without major political reform. We live in a post-ideological world in which there is no one-size fits all answer for complex situations. Small victories need to be acknowledged. Like seeing the positive changes to the energy in downtown Hanoi achieved by turning the busy area around Hoàn Kiếm Lake into a pedestrian zone on evenings and weekends. It may not be enough, but it’s certainly something.
It’s very relaxed.
It’s nice. So this is the first time you’ve seen a development like this.
You know in Hanoi this is a total breakthrough because this area is very big.
There are no motorbikes, just street musician, skate boarders and young families taking their kids out for a day. For our 18th episode we took a walk with Giang around the lake.
Ok, My name is Nguyễn Khắc Giang. I’m 28.
I don’t disagree with other activists, really like strong activists that are opposed to the government opposed to the way that the government is controlling the society. But I think that in the big society you have the people at the periphery – you know the people who actually try to break it. And then you have the middle man you know the people at the middle who want to be activists but actually they approach a way that could accommodate the government and the people in a milder way.
Is that where you are?
Yeah I think so. I think it’s more effective to work that way.
The new pedestrian zone proved to be louder and livelier than we had anticipated and we quickly retreated to the café at the Hotel de l’Opera on Tràng Tiền street to continue our conversation.
Let’s go find a coffee somewhere
Yeah, we’ll just have… can we just have a coffee?
Giang was born to a mother who worked for a state-owned candy factory and a father who was a builder and he was raised in Nghệ An, most famous for being Hồ Chí Minh’s place of birth.
Possibly even I wouldn't be born if Đ