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Stephan Haggard

Stephan Haggard is the Lawrence and Sallye Krause Professor of Korea-Pacific Studies, director of the Korea-Pacific Program, and distinguished professor of political science at the School of Global Policy & Strategy at UC San Diego. He works on the political economy of developing countries, with a particular interest in Asia and the Korean peninsula.

Haggard has written extensively on the political economy of North Korea with Marcus Noland, including Famine in North Korea: Markets, Aid, and Reform (2007), Witness to Transformation: Refugee Insights into North Korea (2011), and Hard Target: Sanctions, Inducements, and the Case of North Korea (2017).

Haggard is the current editor of the Journal of East Asian Studies, maintains the "North Korea: Witness to Transformation" blog and has a regular column with the Joongang Daily.  He has a PhD in political science from UC Berkeley.

Recent Publications

Six Questions on North Korea Answered
Oct. 21, 2021 | IGCC Expert Analysis
This week, North Korea fired a suspected submarine-launched ballistic missile into waters off the coast of Japan. The move comes amidst rising geopolitical tensions in the region. Here, Stephan Haggard, an IGCC research affiliate, the Lawrence and Sallye Krause Professor of Korea-Pacific Studies, and distinguished professor of political science at the UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy, answers six key questions about what the missile launch means.

The Rise of Authoritarian Regional International Organizations
Aug. 12, 2021 | IGCC Working Paper
The number and influence of regional international organizations (RIOs) with powerful authoritarian members is on the rise, helping stall democratization and preserve autocratic regimes. This working paper by Stephan Haggard and Christina Cottiero charts the growth of authoritarian RIOs since the end of World War II and analyzes their pathways for influence, including through election monitoring, peacekeeping, and development assistance.

Researching a Hard Target: Analyzing North Korea with Official Economic Data
April 29, 2021 | By Stephan Haggard and Liuya Zhang
In this book chapter, Stephan Haggard and Liuya Zhang review the growing use of official statistics to draw inferences about the North Korean economy given that the North Korean regime generally treats economic and social data as state secrets. Looking at trade and humanitarian aid, Haggard and Zhang find, not only a growing dependence of North Korea on China, and shocks related to sanctions and COVID, but also efforts to circumvent these constraints by participating in new global production networks, among other efforts. This chapter was published in Researching North Korea published by The George Washington University Institute for Korean Studies.

U.S. Security Ties with Korea and Japan: Getting Beyond Deterrence
April 2021 | IGCC Policy Brief
Japan and Korea—the United States’ two key allies in Northeast Asia—are both advanced industrial democracies facing similar constraints from a rising China and a nuclear North Korea. One would think that trilateral cooperation would be a cinch. Yet Japan and Korea have been at each other’s throats over simmering historical issues and differing approaches to China. In this policy brief,  Stephan Haggard says that focusing less on the military components of the alliance and more on new issues such as 5G, artificial intelligence (AI), and infrastructure, can strengthen collective capabilities and make cooperation more appealing.

Why is Democratic Backsliding on the Rise?
March 11, 2021 | Lindsay Morgan interviews Stephan Haggard
Recent analysis suggests that democracy is on the decline globally. Why and where is this happening—and what can be done about it? Here, Stephan Haggard, the Lawrence and Sallye Krause Professor of Korea-Pacific studies at UC San Diego, talks about his new book with Robert Kaufman Backsliding: Democratic Regress in The Contemporary World, and the role that polarization, quiescent legislatures, and incrementalism play in democracy’s decline.

North Korea’s Nuclear and Missile Programs
July 1, 2020 | By Stephan Haggard and Tai Ming Cheung
How has an economically impoverished, technologically backward, and internationally isolated state been able to establish robust and increasingly competent nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs? In this policy brief, UC San Diego experts Stephan Haggard and Tai Ming Cheung synthesize what we know about the development of North Korean nuclear and missile capabilities and what it will take to dismantle the program.

If Kim Jong-Un dies, what happens in North Korea?
April 29, 2020 | By Stephan Haggard, IGCC Affiliated Researcher
Stephan Haggard dives into the speculation around rumors of Kim Jong-Un’s death and explores seven questions central to what a regime change would entail in North Korea.

On the Assassination of Qassem Soleimani
Jan. 9, 2020 | By Stephan Haggard and coauthors | IGCC News
After an American drone strike killed Qassem Soleimani on Jan. 3, IGCC experts including Stephan Haggard and others weigh in on the “extraordinary event” and its potential consequences.

  • international relations
  • political economy
  • Asia-Pacific
  • North Korea
  • globalization
  • economic reform

Northeast Asia Cooperation Dialogue

Interim director (1997‒1999)