Reasoning by analogy can be a dangerous analytical strategy, at times misguiding more than illuminating. However, it can also enhance one’s perspective and allow one to evaluate information previously considered outside the realm of relevance. Analogies and comparisons have risks and rewards, and one must first establish the limits of the analogy by recognizing core similarities and differences.

In this working paper, Jaclyn McEachern examines the analogies that have been drawn between North Korea and Iran, to help identify the limitations of each when trying to inform policy preferences. In doing so, she identifies four areas in which lessons can be extracted and applied in a cross-context setting.

Jaclyn McEachern recently completed her doctorate in Canon Law at The Catholic University of America and focuses on diplomacy towards the Islamic world and religion and politics issues. She is author of Vatican Diplomacy Towards Islamic States and currently resides in Seoul.