Beijing’s Influence on Economic Change in North Korea
This chapter emphasizes interaction, adaptation and learning in analysing Chinese economic influence over border regions of North Korea. This chapter re-orientates towards local- and micro-level evidence, and introduces a more refined conceptual distinction between ‘reciprocal’ forms of influence by which desired actions are rewarded while undesired actions are sanctioned, and ‘transformative’ influence whereby ‘iterated interactions lead to changes in the attitudes, behaviours, and expectations of actors within the target country’. It examines the latter form of indirect, diffused and bottom-up influence that growing interaction, trade and other association with Chinese economic actors and institutions engenders on North Korean economic actors. The author finds evidence of such transformative influence through socialization in terms of: institutional imitation, deepening cooperation, and behavioural and ideational change in North Korea, all of which pull in the direction of encouraging economic reforms and external orientation.
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