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The Korea Now Podcast

Nov 25, 2018

This episode of the Korea Now podcast features an interview that Jed Lea-Henry conducted with Joseph Wright. They speak about the nature of North Korea’s autocratic regime, its unique longevity, the importance of having two significant early international patrons, the control asserted over the military and political institutions by the Kim dynasty, and the highly ‘personalistic’ nature of the regime. Beyond this core structure, they talk through other aspects of Joseph’s research on coups, democratisation, foreign aid, regime change and human rights prosecutions.

Joseph Wright is a political scientist and Co-Director of Global and International Studies at Pennsylvania State University. He has previously held a position as the ‘Jeffrey L. and Sharon D. Hyde Early Career Professorship’, and is the author of Foreign Pressure and the Politics of Autocratic Survival (Oxford University Press) and How Dictatorships Work (Cambridge University Press). Important to this podcast, he is also the author of the article, ‘The North Korean autocracy in comparative perspective’ (

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