Going to IQMR – Some Summer Asian Security Reading – Back in August


I am off to the Institute for Qualitative and and Multi-Method Research for their summer training at Syracuse University. Take a look at the syllabus. Whoa. ‘Can you spell ‘Bayesian hermeneutics’ correctly, little Johnny? No? Me neither!’ But the preparation looks great for qualitative-types like me. I must thank Colin Elman and Andrew Bennett for taking me. The people in that pic look so much more lucid and intelligent than me, that I think they must have read the wrong file or something. I hope they don’t bust me playing ‘Halo’ in the back there…

If debating multicollinearity doesn’t sound like fun (yeah, I don’t really know what it means either, but I think it’s bad), then here is my regular list of good reads from the last few months before I go on break:


Here’s a good review essay of NK work by my favorite writer on Korean/Asian security issues

German-Korean unification parallels, something I’ve written on also

My contribution to the thrilling field of… EU-Korea relations!, because the ‘eurocracy’ mesmerizes undergrads like nothing else and when the euro falls apart, this essay will be hotter than ever!

Finally, some recognition in the US press that relentless American killing, however unintended, undermines both US goals and the moral superiority of US hegemony. This is extremely under-discussed, probably because Americans don’t want to admit that our use of force can be inappropriate and sometimes extremely so. Given that Americans (from racist evangelicals to Tea Party nationalists, neither of whom could care less how many brown Muslims we’ve killed) usually take note of only US combat deaths, this is a big step.

Japan’s not so bad off after all. Really? I wonder how much to buy into this given the regular drumbeat of bad news from Japan.

Great speculative piece on Kim Jong-Un’s likely problems in the next 2-5 years. I made a similar argument myself.

The drone war increasingly scares me because its restraints are low and it targets civilians.

More on the parallels between German and Korean unification.

Good retrospective on the Kim Jong Il era.


We’re drifting toward offshore balancing, or we’re still number one.

I never heard the word ‘threatlessness’ before (shows you how much we are all in thrall to the think-tank industrial complex regarding war)

A little clarity on the hysteria over US defense cuts

You won’t see this on Arirang TV

As we’re all slowly learning, the terrorist threat of the GWoT is pretty seriously overblown.


Here’s a great debate on Kagan’s book on American decline.

The NK News Center has provided a super catalogue of documentaries on NK. At the very least, before you write about the DPRK, watch A State of Mind.

One of Korea’s best political scientists says a US envoy should go to directly Pyongyang, cutting out the Chinese middleman (a good idea in itself). I think this is a good idea. I wrote earlier this year that Kim Jong Un’s ascent opens a unique window for engagement. Here’s a chance to get to this young man before he gets cemented into the nasty SOP of his father and the KPA. It’s worth a shot, as we can always go back to extreme confrontation…


If this is true, this is the most important Asia story of the year.

Good intro to the Dodko/Takeshima flap if you don’t know it.

I think this is excellent. This really gets to the way NK is ‘governed’,’ which I don’t think gets nearly the play it should. I argued this last year when I said that Kim Jong Il was basically like Don Corleone and NK is what a country would look like if the mob somehow managed to takeover the government.

Good technical break-down of the (failed) NK rocket launch

Good discussion of why NK gets away with so many shenanigans; my response.

Read Kim Jong Un’s speech for Kim Il Sung’s centenary. NK leaders almost never speak to the public like this, so this was pretty remarkable. Don’t even bother calling it ‘Korea’ anymore; it’s ‘Kim Il Sung nation.’ Wow. Not even Mao and Stalin had the nerve to say that.

Because you really, really want to believe that all the time you waste playing Modern Warfare is actually relevant to work


The North Koreans really are batty. Why would they do this to their only ally?

This may be the most disturbing thing about living in Korea

Funniest (semi-)academic link I saw this semester.

Good protracted debate on what happens if NK collapses. Be sure to read all the links.


If this is true, this is pretty big news.

Am I the only one who thinks the Shanghai Cooperation Organization is totally overrated? Call it ‘Band of Dictators,’ like the OAU.

Apparently I am ‘delusional’

The most counterintuitive thing you’ll read on the Iran nuclear debate all year (unless you are in IR already)

Important review from a very valuable IR/history portal (sign up for its updates) of Friedberg’s important book on China

Great news that is long, long overdue… ok, maybe not after all


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