March 1, 2012 — A North Korea expert based at the University of Virginia's Miller Center is available for interviews about North Korea's new agreement to suspend some nuclear activities in exchange for food aid from the United States.
Sheena Chestnut Greitens is a 2011-12 fellow at the Miller Center. She has been researching North Korea since 2004 and published or presented on the country's illicit economic activities, its nuclear proliferation and the stability of the regime, which recently transitioned from the late Kim Jong Il to his son, Kim Jong Un.
Greitens can address questions about Pyongyang's commitment to this latest agreement. She can also explore topics on the stability of the new regime, the role of the military and security forces in the regime, and the policy of the U.S. and its allies toward North Korea given the transition.
During her Miller Center fellowship, Greitens is studying why some authoritarian regimes are at times more or less violent than others. By exploring a variety of regimes, she has the potential to shed light not just on the nature of these states, but on the kinds of foreign policies best suited to dealing with authoritarian governments. Her dissertation is titled "Intelligent Autocrats: Secret Police & State Violence Under Authoritarianism."
Greitens is a Ph.D. candidate studying government at Harvard University. She holds a master of philosophy degree in international relations from Oxford University, where she studied as a Marshall Scholar, and a B.A. with distinction in political science and honors in international security studies from Stanford University. She has published in International Security.