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Stephan Haggard

Director of the Korea-Pacific Program
UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy
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About Stephan Haggard

Stephan Haggard is a Non-Resident Fellow at the Korea Economic Institute and the Lawrence and Sallye Krause Professor of Korea-Pacific Studies at UC San Diego. He also serves as the university’s director of the Korea-Pacific Program. He teaches courses on the international relations of the Asia-Pacific at UC San Diego’s School of Global Policy and Strategy covering political economy as well as security issues. He has done extensive research on North Korea in particular. In addition, he has a long-standing interest in transitions to and from democratic rule and the current phenomenon of democratic backsliding.

His most recent books include “Developmental States” (2018) on the rapid growth of East Asia. His work on North Korea includes three books with Marcus Noland: “Famine in North Korea: Markets, Aid and Reform” (2007), “Witness to Transformation: Refugee Insights into North Korea” (2011) and “Hard Target: Sanctions, Inducements and the Case of North Korea” (2017). His work on transitions to and from democratic rule includes “Dictators and Democrats: Masses, Elites and Regime Change” (2016) and the forthcoming “Backsliding: Democratic Regress in the Contemporary World” (2020).

He has provided commentary for major news outlets, such as CNN International and currently writes for the Korea Economic Institute’s Peninsula blog. He is editor of the Journal of East Asian Studies.

Dr. Haggard received his doctorate in political science from UC Berkeley.

In the last two posts, we have provided data on the share of military personnel in the Politburo and analyzed in more detail the diversity of military backgrounds, some tied to the weapons program, but others linked more clearly to the military-industrial complex, technology and internal security. Here, we consider several intepretations of these developments,…

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Region: Asia

September 15, 2021

In a previous post, we provided data on the shifting composition of the Politburo, based on a classification of personnel into six different career paths: military, diplomatic, party, state, economic and provincial. We showed that since the failed Hanoi summit of 2018, the share of military personnel has returned to levels not seen since the…

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Region: Asia

September 13, 2021

One prominent strand of North Korea watching takes the form of tracking individual personnel movements: the ups and downs associated with retirements, purges and the promotion of new favorites. Yet there is persistent doubt about whether these movements are really consequential, particularly in a highly personalist political system. We can get a somewhat more rounded…

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Region: Asia

September 8, 2021

Despite the completion of the internal policy review and a successful summit, newly-appointed North Korea envoy Sung Kim faces many of the same constraints that have long plagued U.S. North Korea policy. The Biden administration has rightly acknowledged that any engagement implies “a calibrated, practical approach.” But there are simply not that many policy levers…

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Region: Asia

Most analysis of the extended nuclear crisis that first broke in 2002 has focused, quite legitimately, on the realm of high politics: the diplomatic and military strategies of the contending…

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Region: Asia

October 6, 2016

Park Geun-hye’s Trustpolitik envisioned incremental, step-by-step exchanges, including economic ones, that would build trust. The strategy was disrupted by North Korean provocations during the first half of 2013 and had…

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Region: Asia

June 16, 2014

During the 1972 U.S. presidential campaign, “Deep Throat,” later revealed to be Associate Director Mark Felt of the FBI, counseled Washington Post journalists Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein to “follow…

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Region: Asia