Skip to main content
Support
Event

North Korea: Markets and Military Rule

In her latest book, North Korea: Markets and Military Rule, author Hazel Smith delivers a rich empirical study of social and economic transformation in North Korea. The book evaluates the 'marketization from below' that followed the devastating famine of the early 1990s, estimated to be the cause of nearly one million fatalities. Smith shows how the end of the Cold War in Europe and the famine brought radical social change to all of North Korean society. It analyses how marketization transformed the interests, expectations and values of the entire society, including Party members, the military, women and men, the young and the elderly. Smith shows how the daily life of North Koreans has become alienated from the daily pronouncements of the North Korean government. Challenging stereotypes of twenty-five million North Koreans as mere bystanders in history, Smith argues that North Koreans are 'neither victims nor villains' but active agents of their own destiny.

Date & Time

Dec. 14, 2015
1:00pm – 2:30pm

Location

5th Floor, Woodrow Wilson Center
Get Directions

North Korea: Markets and Military Rule

In her latest book, North Korea: Markets and Military Rule, author Hazel Smith delivers a rich empirical study of social and economic transformation in North Korea. The book evaluates the 'marketization from below' that followed the devastating famine of the early 1990s, estimated to be the cause of nearly one million fatalities. Smith shows how the end of the Cold War in Europe and the famine brought radical social change to all of North Korean society. It analyses how marketization transformed the interests, expectations and values of the entire society, including Party members, the military, women and men, the young and the elderly. Smith shows how the daily life of North Koreans has become alienated from the daily pronouncements of the North Korean government. Challenging stereotypes of twenty-five million North Koreans as mere bystanders in history, Smith argues that North Koreans are 'neither victims nor villains' but active agents of their own destiny. 

Hazel Smith is Professor and Director of Korean Studies at the University of Central Lancashire, UK. She was previously a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and Professor of Humanitarianism and Security at Cranfield University, UK, a member of the Research Committee of the UK Economic and Social Research Council and an elected fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. Her core area of research is on the economics, society, politics and international relations of North Korea. She has researched the country for over twenty years and lived and worked in North Korea for nearly two years, on secondment to UNICEF and the World Food Programme.

 

Commentary by:

  • Katharine H.S. Moon, SK-Korea Foundation Chair in Korea Studies, Brookings Institution

Moderated by:

  • James Person, Coordinator, Hyundai Motor-Korea Foundation Center for Korean History and Public Policy; Deputy Director, History and Public Policy Program, Woodrow Wilson Center

Speaker

Hazel Smith

Hazel Smith

Former Fellow;
Professorial Research Associate in Korean Studies School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, United Kingdom and Professor Emerita of International Security, Cranfield University, UK.
Read More

Hosted By

North Korea International Documentation Project

The North Korea International Documentation Project serves as an informational clearinghouse on North Korea for the scholarly and policymaking communities, disseminating documents on the DPRK from its former communist allies that provide valuable insight into the actions and nature of the North Korean state. It is part of the Wilson Center's History and Public Policy Program.  Read more

History and Public Policy Program

The History and Public Policy Program uses history to improve understanding of important global dynamics, trends in international relations, and American foreign policy.  Read more

Cold War International History Project

The Cold War International History Project supports the full and prompt release of historical materials by governments on all sides of the Cold War. Through an award winning Digital Archive, the Project allows scholars, journalists, students, and the interested public to reassess the Cold War and its many contemporary legacies. It is part of the Wilson Center's History and Public Policy Program.  Read more

Asia Program

The Asia Program promotes policy debate and intellectual discussions on U.S. interests in the Asia-Pacific as well as political, economic, security, and social issues relating to the world’s most populous and economically dynamic region.   Read more

Hyundai Motor-Korea Foundation Center for Korean History and Public Policy

The Center for Korean History and Public Policy was established in 2015 with the generous support of the Hyundai Motor Company and the Korea Foundation to provide a coherent, long-term platform for improving historical understanding of Korea and informing the public policy debate on the Korean peninsula in the United States and beyond.  Read more

Event Feedback