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An Analysis and Discussion of Case Studies on Administrative Evil

Crimes Against Humanity in the Hermit State


Kim Jong-un is the leader of highly secretive North Korea. Since he took power in 2011, he has continued the same harsh regime that his father and grandfather fostered. The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) is known for its Stalinist principles and oppressive way of life. The country has endured seasons of widespread malnutrition and starvation, public executions, labor camps, and secret prison camps. 

Their isolation tactics have coined DPRK as “the Hermit State.” The UN has encouraged other countries to enforce greater sanctions against North Korea because of its “systematic, widespread, and gross violations of human rights,” which they have constituted as “crimes against humanity.” 

In a democratic nation, it is hard to imagine a world without freedom of speech, freedom of religion, or even basic freedoms in everyday life. However, that is commonplace within North Korea. The level of evil that is projected by Kim Jong-un can be hard to explain. It may be sourced from internal motivations as a dreadful pleasure or also because of the exclusion his family has long fostered. Either way, the evil that is promoted through North Korea is happening in our modern time. 


1.Can you think of other nations who actively deny human rights and commit crimes against their people?

2.Should the international community provide food aid to North Korea if it is likely to divert the food to the military and to government officials, as it has in the past?

3.What faces of evil do you see reflected in this case?

4.Should the United States risk its relationship with China to stop the murder and human rights violations in North Korea?


Flint, Michigan, came under the spotlight in 2014 because it was revealed that their water contained toxic levels of chloride and lead from the Flint River. The water was sickening the community at an alarming rate. People were breaking out in rashes, suffering forms of pneumonia, and suffering other horrible miseries including death. When the issue was brought to light, leadership struggled to solve the problem and prolonged the situation while people continued to suffer.

Michigan’s Governor Synder eventually pledged $28 million toward the situation, but his actions were considered a little too late. Administrative evil was definitely in action where the marginalized community of people were neglected when leadership continued to carry out their duties as assigned. People wanted to point the blame to one person or one group when in reality there were a handful of groups who failed to adequately respond to the urgent needs of the Flint community. Was it a local, state, or federal problem?


1.Is this a case of administrative evil in action? Why or why not?

2.How much blame should the governor accept for the crisis? Would that be for current health issues or for their lifetime? Who would be responsible for those health expenses—the local, state, or federal level?

3.Should governors be able to appoint emergency managers who have the power to override the decisions of local elected officials?

4.Do you think that the residents of Flint were treated differently because they are poor and African American? If Flint, Michigan, was a wealthy African American community, would there have been a faster response rate from government officials?”


Jared Fogle lost over 200 pounds by choosing to eat Subway sandwiches as a college student. Over 15 years, he became a familiar face promoting the sandwich fast-food chain. The Subway organization doubled its revenue in this time frame.

Investigators later found that Fogle and his foundation director were secretly indulging in child pornography and sexual favors with prostitutes. In his plea deal, he agreed to pay $100,000 to each of his victims and received over 15 years in prison as a registered sex offender. Plus, it was discovered that his foundation, the Jared Foundation, never issued one of the grants as promised from the $2 million originally pledged to various schools and organizations.

The question can be posed as to who was truly responsible for the “celebrity-like” falling—Fogle or Subway? Subway immediately cut ties with Fogle, and he took full responsibility for his actions claiming that Subway did not know of his secret addictive pursuits. The relationship between Fogle, the foundation, and Subway probably could have undergone a better process. Aspects of the forgiveness process could have been pursued. Overall, Fogle claimed responsibility, and Subway seemed more concerned about protecting its own image.


1.What is your reaction to Subway’s handling of this scandal?

2.Does Subway have any responsibility to Fogle’s victims?

3.Should Subway express remorse for Fogle’s crimes?

4.Should Subway take on childhood sexual abuse as a corporate cause? Would this be seen as an admission of guilt?

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