Geopolitical Citizenship: The Implications of North Korean Refugee Resettlement

Monday, February 11, 2019
12:30 PM - 2:00 PM
Philippines Conference Room
Encina Hall, Third Floor, Central, C330
616 Jane Stanford Way, Stanford, CA 94305
  • Sheena Greitens



A Special Seminar Series

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ABSTRACT: Most North Korean refugees and defectors live in South Korea, but in the past decade a growing number have moved beyond the Korean peninsula to create exile communities in North America, Europe, and other locations around the world. These movements have contributed to the emergence of a new and more globally distributed North Korean diaspora. What factors have shaped the emergence of this diaspora, and what effect is it likely to have?  I find that contestation over conceptions of citizenship, at both the level of the individual and the level of government policy, have combined to shape the migration and resettlement of North Korean defectors and refugees over time and across geographic space. I then draw on a comparison with other authoritarian diasporas and extra-territorial opposition movements to show how changing North Korean resettlement patterns are likely to have significant geopolitical implications--not just for the individuals and families that migrate out of North Korea, but for American and international security and human rights policies toward North Korea.  

Sheena Greitens
PROFILE: Sheena Chestnut Greitens is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Missouri, and co-director of the university’s Institute for Korean Studies. She is also a non-resident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and an adjunct fellow with the Korea Chair at Center for Strategic and International Studies.  Dr. Greitens holds a Ph.D. from Harvard  University, M.Phil. from Oxford University, where she studied as a Marshall Scholar, and a B.A. from Stanford University. Greitens’ research focuses on security, East Asia, and the politics of democracy and dictatorship. Her work on China and North Korea has appeared in academic journals and edited volumes in English, Chinese, and Korean, and in major media outlets, and she has previously testified to Congress on security issues in the Asia-Pacific. Her first book, Dictators & Their Secret Police (Cambridge, 2016) received the 2017 Best Book Award from both the International Studies Association and the Comparative Democratization section of the American Political Science Association, and an honorable mention from APSA’s Politics and History section. She is currently working on a book manuscript on the geopolitical implications of North Korean defector and refugee resettlement.