Graduation Year


Date of Thesis Acceptance

Spring 5-11-2016

Major Department or Program



Shampa Biswas


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.

Keywords: North Korea, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, IT, Information Technology, Civil Society, Internet, Cellphones, Panoptic.

Page Count


Subject Headings

Resistance to Government -- Korea -- History, Korea (North) -- Civilization -- 21st century, Korea (North) -- Democratic People’s Republic of Korea -- DPRK, Technology and society, Chong-un Kim (1984- ), Information technology, Whitman College -- Dissertation collection 2016 -- Politics Department

Permanent URL

Document Type

Public Accessible Thesis

Terms of Use

If you have questions about permitted uses of this content, please contact the ARMINDA administrator



Rights Statement

Rights Statement

In Copyright. URI:
This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).