Book Launch: Hard Target: Sanctions, Inducements, and the Case of North Korea


June 7, 2017, 12:15 PM to 1:30 PM EDT
PIIE Webcast, Washington, DC

Marcus Noland (PIIE) and Stephan Haggard (PIIE)

Event Summary

At a time of mounting tensions on the Korean peninsula, Marcus Noland and Stephan Haggard presented their new book Hard Target: Sanctions, Inducements, and the Case of North Korea, at a launch meeting on June 7, 2017, at the Peterson Institute.

The book provides a detailed reconstruction of the role of economic incentives in the bargaining around North Korea’s nuclear program, and how and why they failed to influence North Korean behavior. Drawing on an array of evidence—trade data, surveys of Chinese and South Korean firms doing business in North Korea, and an analysis of the country’s political structure—Haggard and Noland delineate the effects and noneffects of sanctions and inducements. While the authors highlight the difficulties sanctions have faced in being effective, they also document the North Korean leadership's reluctance to weaken its grip on foreign economic activity, suggesting that inducements may have limited effect as well—if they would encourage reform and opening. Hard Target connects economic statecraft to the marketization process to understand North Korea, and to address the debate over the merits and demerits of “engagement” with adversaries, an issue of critical salience today.

Marcus Noland is executive vice president and director of studies at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. Stephan Haggard is the Krause Distinguished Professor of Korea-Pacific Studies at the Graduate School of Global Policy and Strategy, University of California, San Diego. The authors are widely recognized for their expertise on the topic. They previously collaborated on Famine in North Korea: Markets, Aid, and Reform(2007), Witness to Transformation: Refugee Insights into North Korea (2011), and maintain the popular Witness to Transformation blog.