Edward Howell

Mr Edward Howell

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

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

Academic Profile

I am an Economic and Social Research Council Scholar and MPhil candidate in International Relations, supervised by Dr. Carlotta Minnella. My research examines the role of nuclear ideology in the survival of North Korea. My research is motivated by trying to discover how cultural and ideological factors can catalyze state survival and legitimacy, domestically and internationally, together with more material elements, such as nuclear development. My principal research methods involve interviewing and textual analysis.

Before joining the DPIR, I achieved a double First 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. My ongoing work in Geography focuses on how North and South Korean migrants to the United Kingdom negotiate citizenship and belonging at the everyday level, between homeland and hostland. My interests in urban geography has led to expanding work on the role of airports in how we perceive space and place. 

My research interests have led me to work with the North Korean defector community in South Korea and the UK. I was involved in launching the BBC World Service in North Korea, interviewing North and South Koreans residing in the UK. I am a fluent speaker of Mandarin Chinese, Korean, and French, and use my language skills to develop greater understanding of local-level politics from the perspective of the region under investigation.

I am also a journalist, writing for The Diplomat, the New Statesman, and am a Contributing Writer for The Economist Intelligence Unit, specializing on analysis on North and South Korea.

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

Teaching specialism, interests and experience

Teaching Experience:

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 


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


International Relations

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

Trump May Know The Art Of The Deal, but Deals Don't Come Quickly - The What & The Why, March 17 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

Habemus Papam! Why the Pope should say no before Pope Xi takes hold The What & The Why, February 26 2018

The Handshake of History: the Theatre of the Olympics - The What & The Why, February 20 2018

The State of the Union And the State of Trump’s North Korea Policy - The Huffington Post, February 1 2018

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

Trump and Kim: A War of Words? - The Huffington Post, August 11 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