Paradoxes of control and development in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea
Crosby, Samuel N.
May 11, 2016
This paper analyzes how changes in Information Technology in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea have opened a space for new forms of civil resistance. Beginning with an analysis of how such IT developments can aid in the development of civil society and new forms of civil spaces, this paper then moves to apply that theoretical framework to the specifically North Korean case. Through an analysis of North Korea IT at present, and in comparison with Cuban and Chinese periods of development, this paper lays out the difficulties faced by authoritarian regimes aiming to develop IT without facing political problems. I focus specifically on the children of North Korea's elite class who have access to IT, university degrees, and South Korean media. While the likelihood of a democratic transition is not something that I address in this paper, nor does it seem likely, I do lay out an understanding of how these new technologies could allow those with access to them to resist or outmaneuver traditional tactics of repression.
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