Christian Curriden

Photo of Christian Curriden
Defense Analyst
Santa Monica Office

Education

M.A. in social science, University of Chicago; B.A. in history, Brigham Young University

Overview

Christian Curriden is a defense analyst at the RAND Corporation. His work at RAND has mostly focused on Chinese and Korean issues, especially PLA research and development and artificial intelligence. His research has also touched on North Korean diplomacy, the Chinese science and technology environment, and the historical determinants of conflict in East Asia. Outside of RAND, Curriden has conducted research and published or presented papers on Chinese space capabilities and Chinese soft power in Hollywood. 

Before joining RAND, he completed his MA at the University of Chicago, where his thesis used deterrence theory and trade data to explore the reasons China could not coerce North Korea. Curriden's extensive experience working and studying in China has included the completion of the State Department Critical Language Scholarship, conducting research on Chinese public opinion of North Korea at Nanjing University, and writing market reports for Fortune 500 companies at North Head, a consulting firm in Beijing. He has also conducted both primary and secondary source research in Korean on Northeast Asian diplomacy and lived in South Korea for two years as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

Languages

Chinese; Korean

Commentary

  • A typical communist style statue in the capital city of North Korea, photo by alexkuehni/Getty Images

    Searching for Signs of Doi Moi in North Korea

    President Trump's second summit with Kim Jong Un prompted voluminous commentary about whether Pyongyang might adopt the “Vietnam model” of economic reform and opening up, known as doi moi. Some version of doi moi is not impossible in North Korea, but it will likely be more difficult than it was in Vietnam and made all the more so by Kim's reluctance to risk losing absolute control.

    Aug 12, 2019 38 North