Yongusil 9: Treasured Swords under the Byungjin Line: a Trilogy

By | October 08, 2013

Robert Winstanley-Chesters’ analytic foray into the hinterland of the Byungjin Line and ‘Treasured Swords’ of a different timbre (possibly timber), combined and reworked into a single piece for the discerning autumn reader.

Treasured Swords Finale: Abandoning a Developmental Paradigm at the Sixth Party Congress

By | July 06, 2013

Why did North Korea decline in the 1980s? And what are the historical roots of today’s “Byungjin line” resounding from Pyongyang? In the final installment of his framework-expanding trilogy, Sino-NK’s voluble environmental analyst explains.

Treasured Swords Redux: (Re)Construction and the “Rural Theses” of 1964

By | June 21, 2013

Robert Winstanley-Chesters revisits Kim Il-sung’s 1964 “Rural Theses” in pursuit of an analytical framework for assessing developmental policy under the Byungjin line. Part two of a three-part series.

Treasured Swords: Environment under the Byungjin Line

By | June 03, 2013

Rarely do all three leaders of the Kim dynasty go on the public record about a single policy issue, and this makes inter-generational analysis of policy tropes a thorny proposition. However, we now have access to major treatizes on land management theory from the 1960s, 1980s and 2010s. Naturally, Robert Winstanley-Chesters has them lined up for comparison.

Framing Epistemic Communities in North Korea: From Fungus to Botanical Gardens

By | January 30, 2014

North Korean developmental praxis relies on epistemic communities and research institutions to achieve its goals. The country’s institutions are not only meta-devices for rolling out in reportage to add a veneer of intellectual legitimacy to centralized dictat, as Robert Winstanley-Chesters reveals in the case of Pyongyang Botanical Gardens.

Charismatic Environs: From Local Landscape to National Landschaft

By | September 05, 2013

As this sweeping essay illustrates, Kim Jong-un’s obsession with turf and landscape, far from being gratuitous, is in fact part of the North Korean leadership’s art of imbuing the very land of the DPRK with charismatic qualities.

Political and Environmental Organization in North Korea: From Charismatic Politics to Landscapes of Charisma

By | August 22, 2013

Looking at how we might interpret landscapes in an environment of charismatic politics in North Korea, Robert Winstanley-Chesters finds in the work on on the relationship between the politics and the environment a new and useful theory that goes beyond politics, persons, and personhoods. Borne of the politics of charisma is a “landscapes of charisma.”

“Patriotism Begins from Love of Courtyard:” Sepho and the Scaling of the Environmental

By | August 06, 2013

No one covers North Korea’s expressions of the “Byungjin line” with more panache than Robert Winstanley-Chesters, who examines the role of families and local neighborhood units in cultivating North Korean legitimacy.