Dr. Justin Hastings Guest Lectures on North Korean Trade Networks

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Dr. Justin Hastings (University of Sydney) visited Georgia Tech to speak about North Korean trade networks on February 16, 2015. The talk was sponsored by the Center for International Strategy, Technology, and Policy (CISTP) and was made possible by the generosity of the General Ray Davis Endowment. Nunn School Assistant Professor Jarrod Hayes served as the moderator.

Hastings claimed that despite its reputation for isolation, paranoia, and tight state control, North Korea survives in large part due to its resourcefulness at conducting foreign trade. Economic sanctions and other pressures have forced North Korea to formulate new ways of doing business; resulting in flexible, entrepreneurial, and opportunistic trade networks. These networks, challenged by hostile states and, at times, by the central government in Pyongyang, have demonstrated considerable skill at taking advantage of brokers and differing financial arrangements, as well as at exploiting North Korea’s legal status.

Hastings also offered detailed remarks on brokerage networks along the China/North Korea border, North Korea’s manufacture and distribution of illicit drugs like crystal methamphetamine, and a Pyongyang-owned chain of restaurants that is popular throughout Asia.   

Justin Hastings is a Senior Lecturer in International Relations and Comparative Politics in the Department of Government and International Relations at the University of Sydney, where he is also affiliated with the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre, the China Studies Centre, and Centre of International Security Studies. From 2008 to 2010, he was an Assistant Professor in the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs at the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he remains affiliated with the Center for International Strategy, Technology, and Policy. He received an MA (2003) and PhD (2008) in political science from the University of California, Berkeley, and an AB in public and international affairs from Princeton University in 2001. Hastings' research is mostly focused on gray and black markets, rogue states, and the structure and behavior of clandestine non-state actors, such as terrorists, maritime piracy, smugglers, organized criminals, insurgents, and nuclear weapons proliferators, primarily in Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Indian Ocean.


  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created By: Jenilee Trew
  • Created: 04/08/2015
  • Modified By: Fletcher Moore
  • Modified: 10/07/2016

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