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Theories of International Politics and Zombies

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  1,296 Ratings  ·  154 Reviews

What would happen to international politics if the dead rose from the grave and started to eat the living? Daniel Drezner's groundbreaking book answers the question that other international relations scholars have been too scared to ask. Addressing timely issues with analytical bite, Drezner looks at how well-known theories from international relations might be applied to

Kindle Edition, 168 pages
Published (first published December 21st 2010)
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Deniz Cem Önduygu
Oct 21, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: politics, humor
I started this book with high expectations, partly because of its great cover design, but mainly because I was excited by the sense of humor of an author putting together the topics of international politics and zombies. Never have I been so wrong.

Ever since I first heard about the book, I'd been envisioning a tongue-in-cheek, sarcastic or absurdist attitude; instead, the author is almost apologetic about writing such a book, repeatedly explaining why he dared to bring these topics together and
Mar 30, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Take an insightful professor of international politics with a great sense of humor, mix in the entire canon of zombie lit and cinema, and you have the recipe for a delightfully fun and irreverent look at the "what ifs" of a world gone mad with brain eating hordes.

Drezner's preface to the book uses a Graceland tour guide as the analogy to what his treatise hopes to be; and it works. His posits are well researched and plausible - even though he is dealing with a subject matter pure fiction. Yes, h
Jerry Jose
I have learned a great deal about Zombies; wish I could say the same about International Politics.

Intention behind reading this book, and the book as well, was to make International Political theories interesting for a casual reader, under the pretext of hypothetical apocalypse involving flesh-eating ghouls. Author demonstrates rigorous scholarship in defining zombies, using movies and social science literature as data source on events akin to an attack of the undead: pandemics, disasters, bio-t
Nov 22, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not entirely proud to say I read this. Still, it was far better than I expected. I honestly checked it out for the International Politics angle rather than the "braaaaains" angle. I took several courses in International Relations while in college and I always had problems keeping the distinctions between the various schools of thought straight. This book explained them in a way that made sense, and was entertaining. Still, Drezner could've gone deeper into explicating the theories without lo ...more
I heard an interview with the author of this book on public radio and it sounded great. Use the idea of a zombie outbreak to explain the different schools of thought in international relations. How would a neo-conservative think the world would respond to this crisis? And how does this same neo-con believe we should respond? What about those from realist or liberal schools of thought? And so forth.

Problem is, I think it made a much more interesting and funnier interview than it did a book. It's
Atila Iamarino
Uma leitura bem curta e rápida sobre como seria tratada politicamente uma epidemia zumbi. Estava esperando uma análise do cenário político atual usando esse pretexto, mas não foi bem o caso. Acaba sendo mais um livro sobre como o mundo se comportaria com uma epidemia zumbi, algo que já foi bem explorado e escrito de maneira bem mais interessante no World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War.
Nostalgia Reader
Oct 02, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Nostalgia Reader by: Melanie
2.5 stars.

This was a great overview of the various theories of international politics... I had read most of the theory parts before my IR class started, so I was going into this with a bit of a blind eye. However Drezner summarizes the main aspects and points of the theories quite well at the beginnings of each chapter. Looking through my IR book at their definitions, I can certainly see why this book was written! But once each theory started being broken down into zombie terms and how each type
Mar 23, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So, you all have read the Facebook challenges about what you would do if the zombie apocalypse comes. You know what your weapons are, who your teams are. I assume you've been to the ZombieSquad webpage and built your bug-out-bags.

But what will our leaders do? How will nations act when cross-border zombie infiltration and infection becomes a problem?

This book looks to answer those questions. By surveying popular media portrayals of zombies and human responses and combining that data with leading
Kushal Saharan
Dec 27, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Though I have virtually no formal knowledge of International Relations Theory, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this one. I am not sure how useful this would be for anyone looking for an introduction to International Relations Theory (not much I guess) but this book gives a good overall view of different ways the problem of Living Dead would be addressed. The book contains amusing references to popular Zombie-related movies and books, using them to illustrate and buttress variegated responses by the ...more
Oct 16, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: aborted
This book started to concern me when it said that Marxism would be pro-zombie as it would view them as the proletariat -- which is ridiculous, zombies don't own the means of production, they're a plague on the workers.

It lost me completely when it started showed a picture of a woman in a miniskirt, holding a zombie head on a spike while talking on a cellphone and feeding fast food to a five year old, with the caption "Debates about whether women can “have it all” are likely to persist during the
Jun 09, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's quite an amusing book, and I had fun reading it. It also clarified the basic principles of some schools of international relations that I hadn't been exactly clear on. However, I think you'd have to be a) very much MORE into international relations than I am and picking up on some of the subtle cleverness of his presentation, b) very much LESS into international relations and the social sciences in general than I am, and have this as a true introduction, or c) very much more familiar with t ...more
Aug 31, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't normally read and review academic texts on Goodreads, but when the academic text is about zombies, how can I resist?

All kidding aside, this is a brilliant work on internationals relations theory. It takes a subject which can easily be boring, dry, and borderline incomprehensible to anyone outside the field and makes it fascinating, hilarious, and incredibly accessible to the layman. I would advise anyone with interest in international politics (or in zombies!) to give it a read.
Aug 16, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This felt like a Cliff Notes version of a dry international text, spiked with zombies a la Grahame-Smith. It was often a bit dry and strained and nowhere near as enjoyable as, for example, World War Z, but Theories of International Politics and Zombies was still a quick enough read and laugh-out-loud funny enough in enough places I'll generously give it four stars.
Sep 15, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
All around interesting read. I bought it to learn a little about international politics. And zombies. And I actually learned about both! It actually made the material... come alive, shall we say? It's definitely food for brains, which beats brains for food.
Mwakamui Iluya
Feb 01, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ir
I'm a bit bitter because one of my favourite schools of thought and critical theory in International Relations theory was missed out - post colonialism. I'm a bit bitter. Otherwise good for summarising and a reminder of IR theory. The constructivist paradigm was a fave.
Jul 08, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As he enters into the conclusion of Theories of International Politics and Zombies, Daniel W. Drezner notes that zombie cannon, in both film and fiction, is often in a hurry to get right to the seemingly inevitable apocalypse. Drezner, however, is in no such hurry. this is appropriate for two reasons, the first being that his study is primarily one concerned with politics (and so not a new addition to zombie literature), and the second being that in considering the most likely state and internat ...more
Oct 14, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
When I decided to read this book I was looking for an amusing and light hearted primer on the basic concepts of international relations. The language of the book was much dryer and academic than I expected, and it took me far longer to get through such a small volume than I had anticipated.

Further, its focus was much more on zombies, and less on the basics of international relations that I was hoping for.

This book is a tongue-in-cheek textbook whose humor consists of repeating the same joke over
M J  Harrow
Jan 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Surprisingly good

A short but fact filled journey through the different situations that would likely occur if the Zombie apocalypse ever came.
If you're thinking that this can teach you something about real world scenarios, then you would be right. It is a good by for a first year I.R student.
Jul 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A reasonably good, light-hearted take on the rise of zombies and international relations.
Mihai Zodian
Jul 07, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
”Daniel W. Drezner, Theories of International Politics and Zombies, Princeton University Press, f. l., 2011, 154 p.

Cum ar reacționa statele dacă mâine planeta ar fi invadată de o armată de zombies, animată de intenții malefice? Daca se potrivește acest termen, mă rog. Dincolo de semantica morților-vii, se pun probleme fundamentale: ar lua sfârșit civilizația sau umanitatea poate găsi resursele necesare pentru supraviețuire? Ne poate ajuta disciplina relațiilor internaționale să identificăm probl
Ben Atwood
Fun marriage between IR theory and the undead

I sprinted through this one in two or three sittings. Definitely check this line out. How would different IR systems react to the dead returning to life? Why do we focus on zombies leading to an imminent Apocalypse- can policy interventions stem the tide? If these questions interest you at all this book is up your alley.
Liam Wilkinson
Jul 30, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After three years studying international politics at university I opened this book expecting to not learn anything that was particularly new to me. I was correct... What I did not expect to find, however, was such a wise and thoughtful critique of current international relations theories. Don't get me wrong here, they're all very open to criticism for various reasons. This is just a very clever criticism of how international relations theories fail to explain or predict international politics on ...more
This book is not what I expected. I think I was expecting something about how major nations would act in the event of a zombie apocalypse. Most novels are focused on a small area or even a nation but there isn't much about how the leadership of the nation would interact with other nations (if such interaction is possible). That's not what this is.

This is mostly a book about various political theories. I must admit up front that my tolerance for pure theory is pretty low. Rawl's veil of ignorance
Artur Coelho
No prefácio a Synthetic Worlds, Eduardo Catronova aponta para uma tradição nas ciências sociais de escolher um tema divertido ou absurdo e fazer um paper aplicando teorias e técnicas de análise metodológica, aliviando o tédio de congressos cheios de comunicações interessantes mas... áridas. No caso de Castronova a coisa resvalou e de possível artigo divertido sobre as economias dos mundos virtuais transformou-se em objecto de investigação e carreira académica.

Drezner aplica o mesmo raciocínio às
Thea Zhu
Love the author's idea, though its execution wasn't what I have expected, but here I mostly have to "blame" my personal taste for the little let-down.

This book was recommended to us from our tutor for international relations. I thought I'd give it a try, since studying the theories was mandatory to pass the corresponding class. It explains the basic ideas behind the theories very clearly and is also written in way that is easily to read. I also liked a lot that the author really implemented the
May 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, study
I have never had such ambitions before, BUT if I ever start an academic carrier, I will want to write a book like that!
Nevertheless I am not quite sure whether I can recommend this (fabulous!) peace of work to “outsiders”. I can imagine that some IR-students in their first/second semester might enjoy Daniles original theory applications. And to be honest, even after 4 years on the university it still makes fun to read what would Moravcsik/Waltz/… say to the fact that there are zombies outside w
Jan 13, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this for work but it was discussed in a graduate seminar of mine once and I have always been meaning to read it. I think it helps to explain IR theories in an entertaining way. I think the realist and liberal theories are spot on, the constructivist and neocon I found presented in a way that made them less challenging to understand (constructivist theories are always the easiest).
I did not like the discuss of gender theory however. I like discussing gender in politics when it comes to lo
Oct 01, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is not a book about zombies. It is a short academic examination of political theories and their different perceptions of and reactions to a cross-border emergency situation--it just so happens that the emergency example pulled out of the hat is 'zombie outbreak', though it could just as easily have been Martians or the Spanish Flu. So if you're interested in political philosophy (or studying it & having a tough time), you might well enjoy this as a quick look-over of different schools o ...more
Nov 07, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book as part of a research project on zombie fiction and survival narratives, hoping to get a sense of how something like a zombie-apocalypse might be dealt with in a "real-world" scenario. I can't say that this book offered much insight in that regard, since it didn't show a very sophisticated knowledge of the zombie genre or a serious interest in "outbreak" scenarios. Instead it relies on old movie cliches and zombie-puns to provide an entertaining summary of basic concepts in inte ...more
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“Indeed, one concern would be that the initial neoconservative response to a zombie outbreak would be to invade Iraq again out of force of habit.” 14 likes
“[In case of zombie uprising] Marxists and Feminists would likely sympathize more with zombies. To Marxists, the undead symbolize the oppressed proletariat. Unless the zombies were all undead white males, feminists would likely welcome the posthuman smashing of existing patriarchal structures.” 6 likes
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