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The geographical construction of national identity and state interests by a weak nation-state: the dynamic geopolitical codes and stable geopolitical visions of North Korea, 1948-2010

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Title: The geographical construction of national identity and state interests by a weak nation-state: the dynamic geopolitical codes and stable geopolitical visions of North Korea, 1948-2010
Author(s): Nam, Jongwoo
Director of Research: Flint, Colin
Doctoral Committee Chair(s): Flint, Colin
Doctoral Committee Member(s): Wilson, David; Chhatre, Ashwini; Diehl, Paul F.
Department / Program: Geography & Geographic InfoSci
Discipline: Geography
Degree Granting Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree: Ph.D.
Genre: Dissertation
Subject(s): geopolitical discourse geopolitical context the relationship between geopolitical vision and geopolitical code
Abstract: This study is a textual analysis of North Korea’s geopolitical discourses. Through the analysis of North Korea’s geopolitical visions and codes, this study provides a theoretical framework to explicate weak nation-states’ foreign and security policies beyond overly power-centered perspectives. In addition, this study suggests an alternative policy toward North Korea for neighboring states beyond the dichotomy of containment and engagement policy. Using textual data from North Korea regarding the geographical construction of its national identity and state interests, this study proposes a theoretical framework which focuses on a weak nation-state’s geopolitical agency, the relationship between geopolitical visions and codes, and the construction of territory for geopolitical discourses in a particular geopolitical context. The main findings of this study suggest that this theoretical framework provides a valuable perspective through which to understand how weak nation-states use geography to construct their national identity and state interests, and how the relationship between their geopolitical visions and codes changes over time. In particular, this study emphasizes the role of territorial construction in the way a weak nation-state naturalizes the concept of the state as an autonomous subject through nationalism and security discourse.
Issue Date: 2012-09-18
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2142/34399
Rights Information: Copyright 2012 Jongwoo Nam
Date Available in IDEALS: 2012-09-18
Date Deposited: 2012-08
 

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