Edward Howell

Mr Edward Howell

Job Market Candidate

Research topic:
Juche H-bomb: Nuclear ideology and North Korea's survival
Degree course:

Research Themes:
Foreign Policy and diplomacy Identity Ideology States Groups, Identities and Social Movements Political thought and ideologies Norms, legitimacy and justification 

Areas of expertise

North Korea, Korean Peninsula, South Korean diaspora, North Korean defector population, Korean identity and ideology, social and cultural geographies of citizenship and belonging 

Academic Profile

I am an Economic and Social Research Council Scholar and DPhil candidate in International Relations. My research examines ideas of rogueness and international legitimacy of North Korea, focusing on how its nuclear programme generates international perceptions of the state as 'rogue'. 

My MPhil research, supervised by Dr Carlotta Minnella, developed a new concept of nuclear ideology in examining the regime-state survival of North Korea through an ideological lens, focusing on domestic legitimacy towards the regime-state. I was awarded the 2018 Deirdre and Paul Malone Prize for outstanding performance in the MPhil thesis and examinations. 

Before joining the DPIR, I achieved a double First class degree in Geography at Brasenose College, Oxford (2013-2016), focusing on social and cultural geography. I was a prizewinning candidate, awarded the proxime accessit C.D.D. Gibbs Prize for the second highest performance in Final Honours School. Prior to commencing my DPhil research, I achieved the MPhil in International Relations with Distinction, at Balliol College, Oxford (2016-2018).

My research interests have led me to work with the North Korean defector community in South Korea and the UK, and I was involved in launching the BBC World Service into North Korea.  I am a fluent speaker of Mandarin Chinese, Korean, and French.

My  work in Geography focuses on how North and South Korean migrants to the UK negotiate citizenship between homeland and hostland. My interests in the geography of air travel analyzes the role of airports in how we perceive space and place.

I am also a journalist, writing in-depth opinion pieces on North Korean politics for the South China Morning Post, The Diplomat, and the Economist. I am a Contributing Writer for The Economist Intelligence Unit, specializing in analysis on North and South Korean politics. I also provide frequent opinion and analysis for news media, with latest appearances including BBC World News. 

Please view my website for examples of my work; do contact me at edward.howell@politics.ox.ac.uk, and via Twitter @TheEdwardHowell.


Mandarin Chinese French Korean

Teaching specialism, interests and experience

Teaching Experience:

Core module in PPE and History & Politics undergraduate: International Relations (214)

Final Honours School optional module: Politics in China (227)

Final Honours School Geography: Space, Place, and Society

Should you require any teaching for these modules, please do not hesistate to contact me. 

Associate Lecturer in Geography, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Oxford Brookes University


Teaching Interests:

Nuclear politics, Identity, Identity-based politics, Korean Peninsula, socio-cultural norms, emotional citizenship 


2018 Deirdre and Paul Malone Thesis Prize in Politics and International Relations for outstanding performance in the MPhil in International Relations thesis and examinations, University of Oxford

Proxime Gibbs Prize for second highest performance in Final Honour School Geography, University of Oxford

2016 Economic & Social Research Council Doctoral Training Student - Pathway in International Relations

2014 John House Prize for second highest performance in Preliminary Examinations, School of Geography and Environment, University of Oxford


Selected Publications in International Relations

Obstacles to North Korean denuclearisation remain formidable - South China Morning Post, December 9 2018

Who will step up to jump-start talks on North Korean nuclear threat? - South China Morning Post, October 27 2018

Why South Korea needs help reining in the North - South China Morning Post, September 2 2018

Tensions from Korea spread to London's KoreatownThe Economist, August 9 2018

How Kim Jong-un is schooling Trump in the art of the phantom deal South China Morning Post, July 8 2018

Inter-Korean economic cooperation: more myth than reality?NK Pro, July 3 2018

Trump-Kim summit was a big deal for the US, North Korea – and China - South China Morning Post, June 18 2018

Mr. Moon goes to Washington: why the South Korean President held talks with Trump - NK Pro, May 24 2018

Why definitions will be crucial for North-South Talks - The Interpeter, April 19 2018

Tillerson Is Out But Let's Hope His North Korea Policy Sticks Around The Diplomat, March 14 2018

Should We Believe North Korea Is Willing To Denuclearize? - The Diplomat, March 7 2018

What Can We Learn from North Korea's Latest Missile Launch - The Huffington Post, August 29 2017

Where Do North Koreans Fit Into the West's North Korea Policy?The Diplomat, March 22 2017 

From Area to Area: The Changing Face of Area StudiesThe Oxford University Politics Blog, August 27 2016


Other areas of interest

How airports can change how we think of placesNew Statesman CityMetric, May 1 2018

Is aerotropolis Songdo really the city of the future? - New Statesman CityMetric, March 8 2018 

Conference Papers and Presentations

American Association of Geographers Annual Meeting  - 'Making Inflexible Citizenship Flexible: South Korean migrants in London, UK' - Conference Paper and Presentation, 5-9 April 2017 - Boston, MA