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Stephan Haggard Referenced on Google Chairman's Visit to North Korea

Is North Korea Google's Utopian Straw Man?

Andrew Rosen, Huffington Post

It's been amusing to watch the speculation around Google Chairman Eric Schmidt's visit to North Korea. The question on every writer's mind is, quite simply, what was the purpose of the visit?

One of the core answers may lie in Google Ideas, headed by former State Department staffer Jared Cohen, who joined Schmidt on the trip. This was suggested by Professor Stephan Haggard in his post suggesting some motives for the trip. Specifically North Korea is "the n'est plus ultra of information suppression" and, Google Ideas is focused on counter-radicalization, illicit networks, and fragile states. So one guess is that Google is in North Korea because the state falls in between Google's definitions of illicit networks and fragile states, and Google wants to learn more.

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Stephan Haggard is the director of the Korea-Pacific Program at IR/PS, where he specializes in the Korean economy. In 2011 Haggard published Witness to Transformation: Refugee Insights into North Korea with co-author Marcus Noland, with whom he had previously authored Famine in North Korea: Markets, Aid, and Reform. Dr. Haggard writes the "North Korea: Witness to Transformation" blog at the Peterson Institute for International Economics.

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