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Fun and Good
on May 9, 2011
Drezner's quirky new book examines several theories of international politics and how they would apply to global zombie crisis. In this way this book is an easy and fun introduction to international politics, but readers looking for a more serious introduction and exposition of international politics should look elsewhere. This is not to say that Drezner's book is not a fine exposition for what it is, however; theories of realpolitik, liberalism, neo-conservatism, social constructivism, are all covered nicely given the framework upon which Drezner works (i.e. how would a neoconservative foreign policy respond to a global zombie outbreak). For example, realist theories would predict that nations would act in their own interests, respectively, while liberal theories would predict that nations would cooperate to some degree. Drezner also discusses how domestic and bureaucratic politics would respond to a dawn of the dead scenario.
The book's style is scholarly yet witty; here's the author discussing the "theory" that zombies are not biologically, but socially, inclined to feast on human brains: "Given the tendency of zombies to travel in packs and mobs, first-image theorists would hypothesize that this decision to eat humans is a classic case of groupthink, the tendency for individuals to prioritize group consensus over a thorough vetting of alternative ideas and proposals.... Based on their grouping behavior, it could be argued that the living dead care the most about reaching a consensus among themselves about their social purpose." Despite its entertaining subject matter, this book is not a "for dummies" textbook; for example, if you have never encountered a payoff matrix and are unfamiliar with basic game theory, you will quickly become frustrated (but what better way to learn than through a "-and Zombies" book?).