state of vietnam, quoc gia viet nam
Ngày Xanh [Days of Youth] 6 June 1949. Cover illustration.

My dissertation examines the interplay between war, decolonization, and state transformation in the French sponsored State of Vietnam (Quốc gia Việt Nam) and its predecessor states from 1945-1955. Empirically, I trace the history of this state and the contentious partnership between French and Vietnamese as they attempted to build a state apparatus capable of challenging the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. Simultaneously, my narrative captures how the conflict—civil, anti-colonial, and increasingly internationalized—reshaped patterns of political, social, and state organization. Conceptually, I draw on literature in political science that elaborates the relationship between war and state formation, and recent historical studies that explain the dynamics of accommodation/collaboration.

My research is based in the following archives:

Vietnam National Archives Center I (Hanoi); Center II (HCM City); Center III (Hanoi); Center IV (Dalat)
Service historique de la Défense (Vincennes)
Archives nationales d’Outre mer (Aix-en Provence, France)
Centre des Archives diplomatiques, Ministère des Affaires étrangères (La Courneuve, France)
Archives nationales (Pierrefitte-sur-Seine)
Archives départementales des Bouches-du-Rhône (Marseille)
Archives départementales des Alpes-Maritimes (Nice)
Great Britain
The National Archives (Kew Gardens)
United States
US National Archives and Records Administration (College Park, MD)
JFK Presidential Archive
Dwight Eisenhower Presidential Archive
LBJ Presidential Archive