Famine in North Korea: Markets, Aid, and Reform

Famine in North Korea: Markets, Aid, and Reform

by Stephan Haggard, Marcus Noland
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0231140010

ISBN-13: 9780231140010

Pub. Date: 05/12/2009

Publisher: Columbia University Press

In the mid-1990s, as many as one million North Koreans died in one of the worst famines of the twentieth century. The socialist food distribution system collapsed primarily because of a misguided push for self-reliance, but was compounded by the regime's failure to formulate a quick response-including the blocking of desperately needed humanitarian relief.

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Overview

In the mid-1990s, as many as one million North Koreans died in one of the worst famines of the twentieth century. The socialist food distribution system collapsed primarily because of a misguided push for self-reliance, but was compounded by the regime's failure to formulate a quick response-including the blocking of desperately needed humanitarian relief.

As households, enterprises, local party organs, and military units tried to cope with the economic collapse, a grassroots process of marketization took root. However, rather than embracing these changes, the North Korean regime opted for tentative economic reforms with ambiguous benefits and a self-destructive foreign policy. As a result, a chronic food shortage continues to plague North Korea today.

In their carefully researched book, Stephan Haggard and Marcus Noland present the most comprehensive and penetrating account of the famine to date, examining not only the origins and aftermath of the crisis but also the regime's response to outside aid and the effect of its current policies on the country's economic future. Their study begins by considering the root causes of the famine, weighing the effects of the decline in the availability of food against its poor distribution. Then it takes a close look at the aid effort, addressing the difficulty of monitoring assistance within the country, and concludes with an analysis of current economic reforms and strategies of engagement.

North Korea's famine exemplified the depredations that can arise from tyrannical rule and the dilemmas such regimes pose for the humanitarian community, as well as the obstacles inherent in achieving economic and political reform. To reveal the state's culpability in this tragic event is a vital project of historical recovery, one that is especially critical in light of our current engagement with the "North Korean question."

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780231140010
Publisher:
Columbia University Press
Publication date:
05/12/2009
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
368
Product dimensions:
5.60(w) x 8.70(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Table of Contents

List of FiguresList of TablesList of AbbreviationsForeword, by Amartya SenPreface1. Introduction: Famine, Aid, and Markets in North KoreaPart I. Perspectives on the famine2. The Origins of the Great Famine3. The Distribution of Misery: Famine and the Breakdown of the Public Distribution SystemPart II. The Dilemmas of Humanitarian Assistance4. The Aid Regime: The Problem of Monitoring5. Diversion6. The Political Economy of AidPart III: Dealing with a Changing North Korea7. Coping, Marketization, and Reform: New Sources of Vulnerability8. Conclusion: North Korea in Comparative and International PerspectiveAppendix 1: Illicit ActivitiesAppendix 2: The Scope of the Humanitarian Aid EffortAppendix 3: The Marketization Balance SheetNotesReferencesIndex

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