Origins of North Korea's Juche

Origins of North Korea's Juche : Colonialism, War, and Development

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For over five decades, North Korea has outlived many forecasts of collapse despite defects in its system. Origins of North Korea's Juche: Colonialism, War, and Development, edited by Jae-Jung Suh, argues that it has survived because of Juche, a unique political institution built on the simple notion of self-determination, whose meanings and limits have been shaped by Koreans' experiences with colonialism, war, and development amidst surrounding superpowers that have complicated their aspirations and plans. The authors in this volume collectively provide an historical institutionalist account of North Korean politics organized around the concept of Juche-commonly translated as self-reliance, but best understood as subjecthood or being a master of one's own fate-focusing on its role as a response to North Korea's experiences with colonialism, the Korean War, and economic development. The contributors further discuss how Juche circumscribes the evolutionary path that North Koreans can take as they negotiate contemporary challenges. North Korea, as it is now, is best understood in terms of Juche which embodies the cumulative effect of its historical experiences and responses, and its future potential and trajectory, as enabled and constrained by its conception of Juche. This collection provides fascinating insights into the politics and history of one of the world's most mysterious nations.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 192 pages
  • 150 x 224 x 14mm | 280g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0, 7 tables, 8 graphs
  • 0739197266
  • 9780739197264
  • 1,745,719

About Jae-Jung Suh

Jae-Jung Suh is associate professor at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University, Washington, DC.show more

Review quote

This is doubtlessly a very timely book on an important topic, combining the insights of prominent experts. A must-read for everyone who aims at a better understanding of North Korea's present and future through its past. -- Rudiger Frank This book is a fascinating and illuminating work. It opens a new and revealing window on the North Korean experience, in essays written by top American and South Korean scholars (including some who do not usually publish in English). In contrast to the hysteria and bombast that accompanies much American debate about the North, Origins of North Korea's Juche offers a sober, patient, deeply learned inquiry into what really makes this country tick. The paucity of similar accounts gives this book an unusual interest and provenance. -- Bruce Cumings, University of Chicago; author of The Origins of the Korean War Jae-Jung Suh's edited volume Origins of North Korea's Juche: Colonialism, War, and Development, is a much welcome addition to the field of Korean studies...This volume makes a very valuable contribution to the existing literature on North Korean history by introducing the work of Korean scholars who have made significant contributions to the Korean-language historiography on the postwar development of the North Korean political and ideological systems. For this fact alone, the volume should be on the reading lists of students of North Korea...The editor should be commended in particular for assembling works by scholars who primarily write in Korean. The volume will be of interest to both political scientists and historians. Pacific Affairsshow more

Table of contents

Chapter One. Making Sense of North Korea: Juche as an Institution, Jae-Jung Suh Chapter Two. Colonial Origins of Juche: The Minsaengdan Incident of the 1930s and the Birth of North Korea-China Relationship, Hongkoo Han Chapter Three. The Making of the Juche State in Postcolonial North Korea, Gwang-Oon Kim Chapter Four. The Suryong System as the Center of Juche Institution: Politics of Development Strategy in Postwar North Korea, Young Chul Chung Chapter Five. The Rise and Demise of Juche Agriculture in North Korea, Chong-Ae Yu Chapter Six. North Korea's Internal Politics and U.S. Foreign Policy, Patrick McEachernshow more