Conflict Recovery in Socialist Utopia

Conflict Recovery in Socialist Utopia - A Critical Analysis of Vietnam’s Post-war Reconstruction Policies through a Visual Interpretation of 1976-1986 Propaganda Posters

The Vietnam War left a newly re-unified Vietnam with innumerable challenges following the fall of Saigon in April 1975. Through an interpretive analytical approach using propaganda posters as the visual data source, this study examines how the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) and the Vietnamese government disseminated its economic, political, diplomatic, military, and social policies to the public to rally their support for its ambitious goal of rebuilding the country as an industrialized socialist nation. In doing so, this study shows how a national reconstruction discourse could be modalized in textual, visual, and symbolic spaces to maximize its persuasiveness in conflict recovery efforts. Ultimately, this study demonstrates that while recovery is the utmost goal of governments following the end of conflicts, basing it on a specific ideology without careful examination of contextual factors can be deleterious and even calamitous. Propaganda posters can serve as a powerful communication tool for policymakers but poorly aligned campaigns can be counterproductive.”