1st Edition

Routledge Handbook of Contemporary North Korea

Edited By Adrian Buzo Copyright 2021
    308 Pages 10 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    308 Pages 10 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The Routledge Handbook of Contemporary North Korea presents a comprehensive picture of contemporary North Korea, placed in historical context and set against the overlapping fields of politics, economy, culture, society and foreign relations. Spanning a period of significant transition for North Korea, this volume provides accurate analysis and applications of both historical and institutional perspectives.

    The volume’s nineteen chapters are representative of the growth in North Korean studies that has occurred since the 1990s, in parallel with the growing maturity of the field in South Korea, as well as with far greater levels of access to North Korean sources.. The volume is divided into five sections, each reflecting an emergent area of debate and research:

    • The Political Perspective
    • The North Korean Economy
    • Foreign Relations
    • Society
    • Culture

    This is the first anthology of North Korean studies to demonstrate a clear understanding of North Korea as North Korea, as opposed to a dimly perceived and threatening rogue state. It features contributors both Korean and non-Korean, many working from primary source material. As such, this handbook will prove a valuable resource to students and scholars of Northeast Asian studies, modern Korean history and politics, and comparative politics more broadly.

    Part 1: The political perspective

    2. The evolution of the North Korean Socio-Political System, 1945-1994

    Balázs Szalontai

    3. Masters of survival: North Korean leadership in a hostile world

    Andrei Lankov

    4. Political economy and ideology under Kim Jong-un

    Ruediger Frank

    Part 2: The North Korean economy

    5. The structural transformation of the North Korean economic planning system

    Peter Ward

    6. Between the markets and the state: North Korea’s fragile agriculture and food supply

    Benjamin Katzeff Silberstein

    7. North Korea’s interaction with the global economy

    Justin Hastings

    Part 3: Foreign relations

    8. ‘The enemies made this possible’: Sino-North Korean relations after 1948

    Adam Cathcart and Yujin Lim

    9. Nuclear weapons and North Korean foreign policy

    Shane Smith

    10. North Korea's nuclear diplomacy

    Leszek Buszynski

    11. Revival of an old friendship: Contemporary North Korea-Russia Relations

    Anthony V. Rinna

    12. Once more with feeling the US-DPRK dialogue 1993-2020

    Adrian Buzo

    Part 4: Society

    13. Human rights and North Korea

    Sandra Fahy

    14. The ‘market value’ of people in North Korea

    Kim Seokhyang

    15. Child mass mobilization in North Korea

    Kim Miju

    16. The North Korean diaspora

    Sheena Chestnut Greitens

    Part 5: Culture

    17. The evolution of cultural policy and practice in North Korea, seen through the journal Chosŏn ŭmak (Korean music)

    Keith Howard

    18. Love of the lover, love of the Leader: youth romance in North Korean fiction

    Alek Sigley

    19. Mass culture in the Kim Jong Un era: continuities and changes

    Tatiana Gabroussenko


    Adrian Buzo has published widely on North Korean politics and history. The second edition of his The Guerilla Dynasty: Politics and Leadership in the DPRK was published by Routledge in 2018. He currently teaches at the University of New South Wales.