Because authoritarian regimes like North Korea can impose the costs of sanctions on their citizens, these regimes constitute "hard targets." Yet authoritarian regimes may also be immune—and even hostile—to economic inducements if such inducements imply reform and opening. This book captures the effects of sanctions and inducements on North Korea and provides a detailed reconstruction of the role of economic incentives in the bargaining around the country's nuclear program.
Stephan Haggard and Marcus Noland draw on an array of evidence to show the reluctance of the North Korean leadership to weaken its grip on foreign economic activity. They argue that inducements have limited effect on the regime, and instead urge policymakers to think in terms of gradual strategies. Hard Target connects economic statecraft to the marketization process to understand North Korea and addresses a larger debate over the merits and demerits of "engagement" with adversaries.