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Bipolar Orders

North Korea and South Korea are never far from the news headlines. In "Bipolar Orders", Hyung Gu Lynn analyzes the continuities and processes driving both countries since the 1980s. North Korea has experienced severe economic deterioration and increasing international isolation, while South Korea has undergone democratization and witnessed the emergence of a vibrant consumer culture. Paradoxically, this growing gap in ideologies and material standards has led to improved relations between the two countries. Why has this counter intuitive development occurred? Is North Korea really a threat, and if so, to whom? Amidst the recent tendency to repackage the last embers of the Cold War as a potential frontline for the "war on terror," this book provides a substantive, accessible, and timely examination of the complex and compelling histories of the two Koreas.
Product Details

Table of Contents

Introduction 1. Democratization and Anti-Americanism in South Korea 2. Capitalism and Consumerism in South Korea 3. Political Isolation of North Korea 4. Economic Decline of North Korea 5. Representations in Popular Culture of South and North 6. North Korea and South Korea in the World Conclusions Notes Suggestions for Further Reading Index

About the Author

Hyung Gu Lynn is the chair in Korean Research at the University of British Columbia. He has researched and taught at universities in Canada, the USA, South Korea, and Japan. His current research projects range from economic history to contemporary popular culture, plastic surgery to epistemology.


'Lynn's book is a rich and elegant tour de force that both informs and challenges conventional perspectives on the two Koreas on multiple levels, from politics to popular culture, and re-affirms the importance of understanding the present and future of the divided peninsula in the context of its deeply-textured past. Among the plethora of recent books on Korea, this is one that truly stands out-a "must-read" for anyone interested in contemporary Korea, professional and layman alike.'- Carter J. Eckert, Yoon Se Young Professor of Korean History, Harvard University'This book reflects the diversity of the author's long experiences on the Korean Peninsula and gives a vivid sense of the great variety of people that inhabit North and South Korea. It is an effective and dynamic work that argues that there is no "end of history" for the two Koreas.' - Tae Gyun Park, Seoul National University'Hyung Gu Lynn has written a concise, well-judged and most useful analysis of the Korean peninsula since the fall of the Berlin Wall. South Korea's continuing democratization and development toward the 10th-ranking industrial power of the world, combined with North Korea's unexpected persistence since 1989, both raise important questions about the 'end of history' narrative.' - Bruce Cumings, University of Chicago

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