Reviews

Svoliking in the High Grass: New Approaches to Understanding Authoritarian Regimes

By | September 17, 2014

Steven Denney reviews a few key works on “the politics of authoritarianism,” providing researchers with multiple comparative frameworks for understanding North Korea as authoritarian regime.

And the Show Goes On: How the State Survived Marketization

By | September 01, 2014

In post-famine North Korea, the spread of markets has created a dilemma for the state. While markets are sources of revenue, they also threaten to state’s survival. How has the state responded? In the third installment in a series of reviews, Peter Ward looks at Yang Mun-su’s work on the state’s response to marketization.

After the Collapse: The Formalization of Market Structures in North Korea, 1994-2010

By | June 09, 2014

With the collapse of the state-run distribution service in North Korea, market trading, selling, and buying became a means of survival. What started then is now an integral and formalized part of economic and social life. Peter Ward’s second review concerns Joung Eun-lee’s article on market development in North Korea from the early 1990s to the present.

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.