Markus Bell, “Outsiders: Memories of Migration to and from North Korea” (Berghahn, 2021)

In this timely and insightful new book, Markus Bell presents the case study of Korean-Japanese – “Zainichi” – who have escaped North Korea in the years following the end of the Cold War. Through building alliances and long-distance relationships, Zainichi returnees resist forced integration and push back against life-threatening political purges to forge new ways of belonging and, ultimately, surviving against the odds. Outsiders: Memories of Migration to and From North Korea (Berghahn, 2022) is the story of Korean families who, despite experiencing loss, trauma and dislocation, manage to remake themselves in the process of transplanting their lives.

Dr. Markus Bell is an anthropologist specializing in forced migration and labour migration, with over a decade of experience working with displaced people and migrant workers in the Asia Pacific region. He has taught at the Australian National University, University of Sheffield, and Goethe University, Frankfurt. He earned his PhD from the Australian National University in 2016. He works as a long-term consultant for the United Nations International Organisation for Migration, and is also a Research Fellow at La Trobe University, Melbourne. Tweets @mpsbell

Lamis Abdelaaty is an assistant professor of political science at the Maxwell School of Syracuse University. She is the author of Discrimination and Delegation: Explaining State Responses to Refugees (Oxford University Press, 2021). Email her comments at or tweet to @LAbdelaaty.

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