North Korea: Markets and Military Rule

Author(s): Hazel Smith


In this historically grounded, richly empirical study of social and economic transformation in North Korea, Hazel Smith 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. This major new study 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.


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Hazel Smith is Director of the International Institute of Korean Studies at the University of Central Lancashire.

Introduction: North Korea: politics, economy and society; Part I. Jettisoning Caricatures: Understanding History; 1. Beyond the cliches; 2. National identity; Part II. The Rise and Fall of Kim Il Sungism: 3. Colonial occupation and the rise of Kim Il Sung; 4. War-fighting as state-building; 5. 'Socialism in our own style'; 6. Sisyphus as economic model; 7. Social stratification in the workers' state; 8. Famine and the end of Kim Il Sungism; Part III. Marketisation and Military Rule: 9. Marketisation from below; 10. Military rule from above; 11. The marketisation of well-being; 12. The marketisation of the social structure; 13. Going nuclear; 14. Strategic paralysis; 15. North Koreans as agents of change; Bibliography; Index.

General Fields

  • : 9780521723442
  • : Cambridge University Press
  • : Cambridge University Press
  • : March 2015
  • : 228mm X 152mm X 23mm
  • : United Kingdom
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Hazel Smith
  • : Paperback
  • : 951.9304
  • : 394