In my studies of totalitarian states, I often had to use a nearby country as an observation post. I was lucky to study first in Vienna and then in Krakow, Poland, as cracks began to appear in the Iron Curtain. In the early 1990s, peering across the border from Hong Kong was the only way to gain glimpses into daily life in China. More recently, I helped to keep an eye on Libya from the U.S. Libya External Office in Tunisia.
Peering into North Korea
Dandong is the world's last remaining cross-border observation post