POL215Y1 Lecture Notes - North Korea, Civil Liberties, Authoritarianism
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•North Korea is a rogue state and as what the US president called “Axis
•Economic journalist-Paul French “Paranoid Peninsula”
oIsolation of Korea and bizarre behavior which has led reporters to
describe the North as “Schizophrenic, pariah state, suicide state”
oAnd yet it survived…
•Determined autocrats with coercive powers in states can perpetuate
themselves in power for a long period of time.
•North Korea is an example of an utterly motivated political elite that is
determined to maintain its power.
•Citizenry don’t count and incapable of generation information/
mobilizing for political purposes. It is a regime that has clamped down
on the freedom of individuals.
•Civil liberties, human rights, denial of freedoms, propaganda machine,
tight control of information, economy that monitors activities of
citizens. Cannot interview citizens
•Perhaps with time, North Korea would be undermined through the
“truth”in other words, show North Koreans how much South Korea
•Expectations of collapse and yet the evidence points to the persistence
•Farm relations done in 2009 argued that the collapse can happen
•Can DPRK still function or join the list of failed communist states?
oCan it still survive by maintaining its system?
Democratization theoryNK should have began its transition a long time
Economic crisis is a catalyst for political change and North Korea is a poster
child for economic crisiscreates internal tension/important cause of change
•Democratlization theory has yet to benefit from negative cases-cases
of non transition. The DPRK sheds light on how totalitarian regimes are
•The country’s early efforts in 2002 to introduce market reforms.
•North Korea seems to represent the last remnants of the Cold War.
They seem to be the tipping point for the next great conflict; especially
•Nuclear state shrouded in mystery.
•Why and how authoritarian regimes maintain their rule?
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