North Korean Human Rights Activists and Networks

Edited by
Andrew Yeo
Danielle Chubb
Cambridge University Press
Release Date
Number of Pages

The evidentiary weight of North Korean defectors' testimony depicting crimes against humanity has drawn considerable attention from the international community in recent years. Despite the attention to North Korean human rights, what remains unexamined is the rise of the transnational advocacy network, which drew attention to the issue in the first place. Andrew Yeo and Danielle Chubb explore the 'hard case' that is North Korea and challenge existing conceptions of transnational human rights networks, how they operate, and why they provoke a response from even the most recalcitrant regimes. In this volume, leading experts and activists assemble original data from multiple language sources, including North Korean sources, and adopt a range of sophisticated methodologies to provide valuable insight into the politics, strategy, and policy objectives of North Korean human rights activism.


Advance praise: 'The more closed and repressive a regime, the more difficult to form effective transnational human rights coalitions. North Korea is undoubtedly among the toughest cases. But this outstanding collection shows the ingenuity of those perspicacious individuals and groups that have pushed the North Korean human rights agenda. These activists have produced some striking surprises, such as the United Nations Commission of Inquiry and clever informational strategies. With interesting theory and novel methodological approaches, this book is indispensable not only for those working on North Korea, but for the human rights community more generally.' Stephen Haggard, Krause Distinguished Professor, University of California, San Diego

Advance praise: 'The United Nations Commission of Inquiry on North Korean human rights concluded that the Kim regime is likely guilty of crimes against humanity, and the Commission urged accountability, including referral to the International Criminal Court for North Korea's leaders. There is no silver bullet, no single way to deal with that country's horrendous rights violations, but Andrew Yeo and Danielle Chubb have given us an excellent series of essays with options, analysis and advocacy for the great variety of approaches.' Robert R. King, former US Special Envoy for North Korean Human Rights

Advance praise: 'Having been passionately involved in North Korean human rights activism since the 1990s, and experiencing first-hand the frustrations of trying to enact meaningful change in the country, I found this book to be a timely and encouraging analysis of the role of transnational advocacy networks in persuading the DPRK to honor its human rights obligations. This work insightfully explores the unique dynamics of North Korea, which lacks a developed civil society of its own, and the challenges and opportunities of transnational activism. A must-read for scholars as well as practitioners, this book will have important implications for the next generation of activism in the field of North Korean human rights.' Changrok Soh, Korea University and Human Asia