Human Rights Discourse in North Korea: Post-Colonial, Marxist and Confucian Perspectives, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Human Rights Discourse in North Korea

Post-Colonial, Marxist and Confucian Perspectives, 1st Edition

By Jiyoung Song


236 pages | 23 B/W Illus.

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This unique book examines the conceptual development of human rights in North Korea from historical, political and cultural perspectives.

Dr Jiyoung Song explains how North Korea has understood the concepts of human rights in its public documents since its independence from Japan in 1945. Through active campaigns and international criticism, foreign governments and non-governmental organisations outside North Korea have made numerous allegations of human rights violations. On the other hand, the efforts to engage with North Korea in order to improve the human rights situation through humanitarian assistance and to understand how North Koreans interpret human rights are often overshadowed by "naming and shaming" and "push-until-it-collapses" approaches. Using close readings and analyses of the collected works of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il, North Korea’s official newspaper, Rodong Sinmun, as well interviews with North Korean defectors and diplomats in South Korea, China and Europe, Dr Song gives thought-provoking and highly debatable accounts for the historically post-colonial, politically Marxist and culturally Confucian elements of North Korean rights thinking.

As a piece of research on a nation shrouded in mystery this book will be essential reading for anyone researching human rights issues, Asian politics and international relations.

Table of Contents

Introduction Chapter 1 The Evolution Of International Human Rights Chapter 2 Late Chosun Philosophies And Human Rights Chapter 3: Post-Colonial People’s Rights: 1945–48 Chapter 4 The Marxist Rights Thinking Of The Dprk Chapter 5 Human Rights In Juche Ideology Chapter 6 ‘Our Style’ Of Human Rights Conclusion

About the Author

Dr Jiyoung Song is a research associate at the Centre on Migration, Policy and Society at the University of Oxford, UK, and consultant for the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

About the Series

Routledge Advances in Korean Studies

Korea is currently experiencing its most significant transformations since the end of the Korean war. This series is a showcase for the latest research on North and South Korea. The series is interdisciplinary in its focus.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / Civil Rights
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / General
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / Human Rights
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General