The Role Of Human Development In The Lack Of A “North Korean Spring”

By Rosa Park.
It is undeniable that thus far, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), otherwise known as North Korea, has a severe dearth of social movement at the grassroots level. Although Victor Cha covers the existence of social protests within North Korea, this has not resulted in significant social change for a “North Korean Spring” and argues that a “North Korean Spring” is not likely.[1] Respecting the sovereignty of nation-states, change in the DPRK must not be forced, but come from the bottom-up.
However, to address the likelihood of a “North Korean Spring,” we must first analyze what is required for such social movement. Relying on Randall Kuhn’s work in “On the Role of Human Development in the Arab Spring,” the Arab Spring consisted of three human development factors, which were present: 1) “basic human development led to a significant increase in population needs and expectations, creating new policy challenges and reducing public dependency on regimes;” 2) “human development and new information technologies created new opportunities for political protest;” 3) “collective realization of human development gains resulted in new values conducive to regime change.” [2] Using this framework, the main research question that this paper will address is: why have there been no signs of a “North Korean Spring?” What is lacking for such social movement? The argument put forth in this paper is that despite the beginning stages of two of the three human development requirements for political change, there is a missing element of the people’s new values in order to induce regime change.
Read Here: Lack Of A North Korean Spring


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