Reviews

Before the Collapse: The Micro-foundations of Marketization in North Korea

By | May 27, 2014

Much Korean-language research about North Korea goes unread in the English-speaking world. In an effort to bridge the divide and make us all whole, Peter Ward embarks on a series of review essays dealing with key Korean research into marketization. The first piece looks at the surprising role of markets in the Kim Il-sung period.

A Bifurcated Review of De-bordering Korea: Tangible and Intangible Legacies of the Sunshine Policy

By | May 12, 2014

Seven full years have passed since the second and final “sunshine policy” president, the late Roh Moo-hyun, left office. Yet debate over the historic value of the decade of sunshine persists. In Sino-NK’s latest review, two members of the team look at a brand new Routledge edited volume that attempts to assess the social legacy of the era.

A Roundtable Review of Dr. Suzy Kim’s Everyday Life in the North Korean Revolution, 1945–1950

By | December 17, 2013

In this roundtable review of Suzy Kim’s Everyday Life in the North Korean Revolution, 1945–1950, Sino-NK contributors weigh the new stories told about North Korea against the author’s distinctive theoretical outlook. Introduction by Darcie Draudt.

Author’s Response to Sino-NK Roundtable on Tyranny of the Weak: North Korea and the World, 1950–1992 (updated)

By | November 25, 2013

Some scholars are reluctant to actively engage with critiques of their work. This is a dreadful shame, for it is only in so-doing that the rising tide of academic knowledge can raise all boats to a new and better level. Fortunately, it was in this very spirit that Charles K. Armstrong seized upon #ArmstrongRoundtable convenor Benjamin Young’s request for a response to our review of his latest work.

“Unification Aesthetics:” A Review of Lee Si-Woo’s Life on the Edge of the DMZ

By | November 06, 2013

Can the desolation of the North-South border region be understood as a “huge canvas for a meditation on life itself?” Adam Cathcart explores the relationship between the human condition and the peninsula-as-environment in this review of Lee Si-Woo’s Life on the Edge of the DMZ.

The Strength to Concede in Developmental Asia

By | November 02, 2013

Do autocrats cede power to democracy when in fear of the alternative, or is there an alternative hypothesis: that strength increases the likelihood of democratization? East Asian case studies give food for thought. Let Steven Denney be your guide.

A Roundtable Review of Charles Armstrong’s Tyranny of the Weak: North Korea and the World, 1950-1992 (updated)

By | October 03, 2013

What does Sino-NK think about the history of the DPRK? Collect a myriad of opinions and perspectives in Sino-NK’s roundtable review of Charles Armstrong’s latest book, Tryanny of the Weak: North Korea and the World, 1950-1992. Introduction by Benjamin R. Young.

[Sino-NK Exclusive] North Korea Through the Lankov Prism: Welcome to “The Real North Korea”

By | April 13, 2013

A Sino-NK exclusive cornucopia of perspectives on Dr. Andrei Lankov’s forthcoming book, The Real North Korea: Life and Politics in the Failed Stalinist Utopia.

All the World’s a Stage. Looking Again at North Korea: Beyond Charismatic Politics

By | March 25, 2013

In a contrarian take on one of SinoNK’s favorite texts on North Korean ideology, Peter Ward, a young scholar in Seoul, delves into “Charismatic Politics” in the DPRK.