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Inside the red box : North Korea's post-totalitarian politics / Patrick McEachern.

By: McEachern, Patrick, 1980-.
Material type: TextTextSeries: JSTOR eBooks.Contemporary Asia in the world: Publisher: New York : Columbia University Press, ©2010Description: 1 online resource (xiv, 301 pages) : illustrations.Content type: text Media type: computer Carrier type: online resourceISBN: 9780231526807; 0231526806.Additional physical formats: Print version:: Inside the red box.DDC classification: 951.9305/1 Online resources: Click here to view this ebook.
Contents:
Post-totalitarian institutionalism -- Historical context -- North Korea's political institutions -- Institutional jostling for agenda control, 1998-2001 -- Segmenting policy and issue linkages, 2001-2006 -- Policy reversals, 2006-2008.
Abstract: Traditional political models fail to account for North Korea's institutional politics, making the country's actions seem surprising or confusing when, in fact, they often conform to the regime's own logic. Drawing on recent primary materials, including North Korean speeches, commentaries, and articles, Patrick McEachern, a specialist on North Korean affairs, reveals how the state's political institutions debate policy and inform and execute strategic-level decisions. Many scholars dismiss Kim Jong-Il's regime as a "one-man dictatorship" and call him the "last totalitarian leader," but McEachern identifies three major institutions that help maintain regime continuity: the cabinet, the military, and the party. These groups hold different institutional policy platforms and debate high-level policy options both before and after Kim and his senior leadership make their final call. This method of rule may challenge expectations, but North Korea does not follow a classically totalitarian, personalistic, or corporatist model. Rather than being monolithic, McEachern argues, the regime, emerging from the crises of the 1990s, rules differently today than it did under Kim's father, Kim Il Sung. The son is less powerful and pits institutions against one another in a strategy of divide and rule. His leadership is fundamentally different: it is "post-totalitarian." Authority may be centralized, but power remains diffuse. McEachern maps this process in great detail, supplying vital perspective on North Korea's reactive policy choices, which continue to bewilder the West.
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Item type Current location Call number URL Status Date due Barcode
Electronic Book UT Tyler Online
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DS935.774 .M44 2010 (Browse shelf) https://ezproxy.uttyler.edu/login?url=http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7312/mcea15322 Available ocn695655090
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DS935.7.K6 B435 2011 Crisis in Korea : DS935.774 .F67 2008 North Korea on the brink : DS935.774.L36 2013 The Real North Korea : DS935.774 .M44 2010 Inside the red box : DS935.775 .B43 2013 The last days of Kim Jong-il : DS935.775.N67 2016 North Korea's Foreign Policy under Kim Jong Il : DS935.7777 .B46 2013 Preparing for the possibility of a North Korean collapse /

Includes bibliographical references and index.

Traditional political models fail to account for North Korea's institutional politics, making the country's actions seem surprising or confusing when, in fact, they often conform to the regime's own logic. Drawing on recent primary materials, including North Korean speeches, commentaries, and articles, Patrick McEachern, a specialist on North Korean affairs, reveals how the state's political institutions debate policy and inform and execute strategic-level decisions. Many scholars dismiss Kim Jong-Il's regime as a "one-man dictatorship" and call him the "last totalitarian leader," but McEachern identifies three major institutions that help maintain regime continuity: the cabinet, the military, and the party. These groups hold different institutional policy platforms and debate high-level policy options both before and after Kim and his senior leadership make their final call. This method of rule may challenge expectations, but North Korea does not follow a classically totalitarian, personalistic, or corporatist model. Rather than being monolithic, McEachern argues, the regime, emerging from the crises of the 1990s, rules differently today than it did under Kim's father, Kim Il Sung. The son is less powerful and pits institutions against one another in a strategy of divide and rule. His leadership is fundamentally different: it is "post-totalitarian." Authority may be centralized, but power remains diffuse. McEachern maps this process in great detail, supplying vital perspective on North Korea's reactive policy choices, which continue to bewilder the West.

Print version record.

Post-totalitarian institutionalism -- Historical context -- North Korea's political institutions -- Institutional jostling for agenda control, 1998-2001 -- Segmenting policy and issue linkages, 2001-2006 -- Policy reversals, 2006-2008.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

CHOICE Review

McEachern (formerly, North Korea analyst, State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research) mines the North Korean media in an effort to better understand policy making at the highest levels since the accession of Kim Jong-Il. While noting that key national policies require the concurrence of Kim, the author presents a compelling argument for examining policy formation and implementation in terms of the degree of divergence among key institutional groupings: the party, the military, and the government (i.e., the cabinet). Differences among these institutions have become more pronounced since the 1990s due to a faltering economy, improved relations with South Korea, Kim's leadership style, and the succession issue. The author first builds his case for considering North Korea a post-totalitarian state. He then provides the historical and institutional contexts for the emergence of divergent policy orientations. This is followed by an extensive examination of the jostling among key institutions over the past decade. The concluding chapter draws out the implications of an evolving polity for a post-Kim North Korea. The central theme of the work is that oscillations in North Korea's domestic and international policies should be expected and not seen as overtly deceptive or threatening. Best for university collections on Asia. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Graduate, research, and professional collections. J. M. Peek Glenville State College

Author notes provided by Syndetics

Patrick McEachern is a foreign service officer in Seoul supporting the Six Party Talks and a former North Korea analyst with the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research. His publications have appeared in Asian Survey , Journal of East Asian Studies , and Korea Yearbook .

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