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Lecture#9-North Korea

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Political Science
Lynette Ong

Ernie Tam 2011-11-10 North Korea • North Korea is a rogue state and as what the US president called “Axis of evil” • Economic journalist-Paul French “Paranoid Peninsula” o Isolation of Korea and bizarre behavior which has led reporters to describe the North as “Schizophrenic, pariah state, suicide state” o And 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 has progressed. • Expectations of collapse and yet the evidence points to the persistence of regime. • Farm relations done in 2009 argued that the collapse can happen anytime. • Can DPRK still function or join the list of failed communist states? o Can it still survive by maintaining its system? Democratization theoryNK should have began its transition a long time ago. Economic crisis is a catalyst for political change and North Korea is a poster child for economic crisiscreates 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 maintained. • 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 Taiwan Strait • Nuclear state shrouded in mystery. Comparative analysis • Why and how authoritarian regimes maintain their rule? Ernie Tam 2011-11-10 o These regimes reliance on coercion, the assumption is that their grip on power is fragile (authoritarian can’t compare to the elgitmacy that comes from democratic elections) o Democracy is the norm and stable result from global engagement. Failure to have this transition needs to be explained. • Central puzzle in China Case: new type of authoritarianism o 1) Revolutionary legitimacy: Johnson talks about this. One that enjoyed po
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