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, Nuclear politics, South Korean diaspora, North Korean defectors, Korean identity and ideology, social and cultural geographies of citizenship and belonging 

Academic Profile

I am a Stipendiary Lecturer in Politics at New College, as well as an Economic and Social Research Council Scholar, and DPhil candidate in International Relations. My research pioneers a new conceptual framework to examine North Korea's behaviour vis-à-vis the nuclear order, analysing status within international relations. 

My MPhil research, supervised by Dr Carlotta Minnella, developed a new concept of nuclear ideology in examining the regime-state survival of North Korea, focusing on domestic legitimacy. I was awarded the 2018 Deirdre and Paul Malone Prize for outstanding performance in the MPhil thesis and examinations, achieving the MPhil in International Relations with Distinction, at Balliol College, Oxford (2016-2018). Before joining the DPIR, I achieved a double First class degree in Geography at Brasenose College, Oxford (2013-2016), focusing on socio-cultural geography. I was awarded the proxime accessit C.D.D. Gibbs Prize for the second highest performance in Final Honours School. 

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 in North Korea.  I am a fluent speaker of Mandarin Chinese, Korean, and French.

I am also write 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 analysis for news, with latest appearances including BBC World News and the Telegraph. 

I also retain interests in how North and South Korean migrants to the UK negotiate citizenship between homeland and hostland. I am also interested in the geography of air travel, and how airports alter how we perceive space and place. 

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


Mandarin Chinese French Korean

Teaching specialism, interests and experience

Teaching Experience:

I provide teaching for the following modules as part Final Honours School for PPE and History & Politics undergraduate courses:

214 - International Relations 

227 - Politics in China 

297 - Special Subject in Politics: International Security & Conflict 

I also teach the Space, Place, and Society module for Final Honours School Geography. 

I am also an Associate Lecturer in Geography, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Oxford Brookes University


Teaching Interests:

Nuclear politics, Politics of the Korean Peninsula, Identity-based politics, socio-cultural norms 


2018 Economic & Social Research Council Research Grant for overseas fieldwork

2018 Merton College Research Grant for overseas fieldwork

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

2017 Cyril Foster Award, Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Oxford 

2017 Balliol College Research Grant for overseas academic presentation  

2016 Proxime accessit Gibbs Prize for second highest performance in Final Honour School Geography, School of Geography and Environment, University of Oxford

2016 Economic & Social Research Council Doctoral Training Student - Pathway in International Relations (2+2)

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


Journal articles

'The Juche H-Bomb: North Korea, nuclear weapons, and regime-state survival' International Affairs 96:4 (2020) 1051-1068 


Selected media publications 

North Korean think tank statement shows focus on U.S. ‘hostile policy’ prevails - NK Pro, June 28 2020

Kim Yo Jong's growing role is bad news for peace in Korea The Spectator, June 23 2020

What's the truth about coronavirus and North Korea? The Spectator, June 4 2020 

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

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 | 5-9 April 2017 | Boston, Massachusetts