About the informal life politics project
This research program aims to deepen understanding of the emerging nature of post-Cold War Northeast Asia through an integrated study of informal life politics in Japan, China, South Korea, Taiwan and Mongolia from the late 1970s to the present day. It will also assess the potential of informal life politics as a framework for examining the very significant but little understood forms of social contestation emerging in North Korea. The unusual circumstances of these changes, which are driven mainly by the collapse of the state-run economic system, make it necessary to treat North Korea as a special case, rather than attempting to incorporate it directly into the cross-border comparative framework which will be used to study other countries of the region. The program will, however, use insights derived from this framework to take debate on North Korea’s recent past and future beyond the limits of “civil society” discourse, and to reassess the potential of the country’s social ferment to generate broader national and regional transformation.
Read more on the case studies and progress of the project at the Survival Politics blog.