The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

Search Google Appliance


Game of Thrones as Political Theory in Foreign Affairs by Charli Carpenter

Charli Carpenter published an article in Foreign Affairs titled: “Game of Thrones as Theory” back in 2012 and it's now highlighted in light of the Game Of Thrones finale. The article explains how the show is not as Machiavellan as it seems, and is instead a deeply progressive, human-security-focused narrative about power, justice and the dangers of unchecked realpolitik. (Foreign Affairs, 5/19/19)

Among the foreign-policy intelligentsia, and society broadly, interpreting Game of Thrones (and the book series by George R. R. Martin that the show is based on) has become a cottage industry. Every political analyst, historian, or theorist has his or her take on what lessons can be drawn from the story for real-world foreign policy. This enthusiasm tells us something about the show’s political implications: fans and writers argue over Game of Thrones precisely because there is power in interpreting a story to support one’s own arguments about what is right and who gets to choose. (Foreign Affairs, 5/27/19)

News Type: 

  • Faculty News