chapter  3
Ideological self- limitation in ideocracies
Pages 18

This chapter demonstrates the support of Juche ideology, Kim Jong-il and Kim Jong-un have used co-optation and repressive strategies to secure their leadership. The Juche Idea is an indigenized ideology that was inspired by Marxism-Leninism, but it has been adapted to the Korean context. In light of continuing famine, economic hardships, and the loss of two national leaders, scholars have projected that the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) would not be able to survive very long. Among totalitarian Communist countries with ideologically driven political regimes, North Korea has lasted the longest. The North Korean federal government has attempted to shift the responsibility for the poor economy and other severe domestic and international conditions onto other institutions. The chapter argues that North Korea once had fully developed ideocratic legitimation, enabled by inculcation of the Juche Idea and deification of Kim Il-sung along with co-optation and repression; however, this ideocratic legitimation is currently at risk due to several factors.