• North Korea is a rogue state and as what the US president called “Axis
• 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
• 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?
o Can 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? Ernie Tam
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
• Central puzzle in China Case: new type of authoritarianism
o 1) Revolutionary legitimacy: Johnson talks about this. One that