Thích Nhất Hạnh (1926-2022)

Today, I woke up with light tears and heart upon the news that my master, Thích Nhất Hạnh, has passed away at Từ Hiếu Temple in the homeland of Huế, where his spiritual journey began in 1945. It is also the homeland of my in-law family, a Buddhist heartland. Light, in the sense that he… Continue reading Thích Nhất Hạnh (1926-2022)

Phi Nhung (1970-2021)

COVID-19 has taken away many lives and unfairly so. Today marked the departure from this world of one my favourite southern Vietnamese country music singers, Phi Nhung (1970-2021), whom everyone in diaspora households grew up watching and listening to in the 1990s-2000s. This was a time when our parents, grandparents, relatives, friends, and compatriots began… Continue reading Phi Nhung (1970-2021)

Reflections on Vietnam’s 35 years of reform

In the past week, Vietnam's 13th Communist Party Congress has been taking place. It is also 35 years ago since the country's reform era (officially termed "renovation" or Đổi mới) was launched during the 6th Communist Party Congress. A former editor-in-chief of Communist Review, the party's flagship journal, said that this congress should be viewed… Continue reading Reflections on Vietnam’s 35 years of reform

Pandemic responses for developing countries

Spending time in self-isolation in foreign land has naturally triggered me to quietly observe the variety of pandemic responses being executed, either directly through my own observations (in Indonesia) or indirectly through regular conversations with colleagues who come from different parts of the world. These days, my way to show my care for someone that… Continue reading Pandemic responses for developing countries

A week of applied microeconomics

It has been a great week of recognition for the field of applied microeconomics, especially for people working in the intersections of development economics and political economy. Yesterday, it was announced that Melissa Dell, an applied microeconomist, was awarded this year's John Bates Clark Medal for her work on the role of the state, institutions,… Continue reading A week of applied microeconomics