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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  April 24, 2011 9:30am-10:00am EDT

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you probably got things all checked off but during the day, please consider joining us and supporting the tucson festival of books to keep this amazing event here in tucson. thank you for being here and for your support and if you want to follow us out, i am going to head to the dining area. .. >> [inaudible conversations] >> you can watch this and other programs online at and now daniel drezner evacuated from models of international relations and how they would work against zombies. he spoke of the harvard coop in cambridge, massachusetts.
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>> good evening and welcome to the authors series of the harvard coop. tonight, i am in honor to introduce daniel drezner, professor of international politics at tufts university and author of a series of international politics. what would happen to humanity and its institutions if an army of the undead rose up and threatened the world? although zombie literature and zombie movies, all of zombie culture would have us believe we would either be triumphant against is foolish enemies, the vanquished by zombies feasting on our brains, it remains a great area full of unknown unknowns. and daniel drezner's analysis international relations theorists becomes the lenses through which we can predict what would happen in the event of a zombie attack. for example, zombies would not
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be faced by the neoconservatives schocken on military tactics. they would just keep marching. and ngos, those bleeding hearts of the international stage would espouse the cause. zombies are just misunderstood soul. realist live and let live, constructivist, let's just all get along. which there is would save the day? please join me in welcoming daniel drezner as he talks about these theories, strengths and the application to a world filled with the threats of all types, including maybe one day that posed by zombies. well, at least we will be prepared. [applause] >> thanks to everyone for coming. in many ways this is an opportunity for me to cross many, many things off my bucket list. in a sense of first i get to
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give a reading which is not something that political scientists normally do. second, i get to do at the harvard coop. and third, eventually we will be broadcast on television. there's a whole number of things i get to cross off. at the same time, i have to confess a nervous because i'm not used to doing readings. i'm used to presenting my work with fancy powerpoint slides behind the. whereas here i am only confronted with the pros i'm proud to read in front of you. in some ways part of this exercise, one of the purposes of writing this was to satirize what a lot of international relations scholarship sounds like. so hopefully you'll get a sense of that. rather than trying to explain what it is i'm going to read certain portions of the book, in particular the preface which event is a better job explaining what i'm trying to than me trying to buy what i was trying to do. our pottery for about 20 mins i think and then i'll be happy to take questions. so we'll start with the preface.
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15 years ago on a cross-country drive i stopped to visit graceland. by the time i to hit the jungle room it was obvious the 30 odd people walking through elvis presley's mansion fell into two groups. the first continue was thoroughly utterly sincere in their devotion to all things elvis. they were hard-core fans and graceland was their mecca, there jerusalem and their realm. many of them sadly convinced the king was still walking the earth. they cast when they saw the jumpsuit collection. the second group of tourists was equally delighted but for a different reason. these people took great pleasure in the teaching nature of all things elvis. to them and mentioned that preserve the assets of green shag carpeting and mirrored walls was both funny and tacky. they cast missile the jumpsuit collection. as we held along with its your professionalism of our tour guide struck me. her task was not an easy one.
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she had to provide a thought of elvis knowledge to all the intensive devotees. at the same time she had to acknowledge the absurd nature of the experience for the rest of the tour group. with subtle changes in our facial expression and slightly judgment in her tone of voice, our guide covers her task brilliantly. at no point in time did she diminish elvis in the eyes of his devout followers. still haven't everyone left graceland that be thoroughly satisfied with their visit. think of this book as my tour of a different kind of graceland. only with a lot more footnotes. oh, and zombies. so with the introduction. there are many natural sources of fear in world politics. terrorist attacks, pandemics, natural disasters, climate change, financial panic, nuclear proliferation, ethnic conflict, global war for and so forth are
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serving the cultural any strike out a natural problem has become one the fastest growing concerns in international relations. i speak of course of zombies. whether they are called ghouls, dead eyes, post-humans to stenches, gadgets, or the more differently animated, the specter of the living dead represents an important puzzle to scholars of international relations, theories we used to understand the world. devotees of international politics predicted would happen if they did begin to rise from the grave and feast upon the living. how valid or how rotten are these predictions? series was might dismiss these questions but can such a flesh eating ghouls are evident in partner culture. whether one looks at films, songs, games or books the genre is clearly on the rise. one could dismiss the zombie trend as many feeding ms probably that crazed of the cervix such a commission would only be skin deep. popular culture often provides a
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window in a subliminal or unstated fears of citizens and zombies are no exception. some cultural commentators argued that september 11, 2001, terrorist attacks our primary cause for renewed interest in the living dead and the numbers appeared to back up the assertion. certainly does have the anthrax attacks in the auto 2000 raise fears about bioterrorism and biosecurity. as peter dental notes it is clear the zombie holocaust vividly than in movies and videogames have tapped into a deep-sea anxiety about society. zombies have become in obvious metaphor. some international relations scholars would posit interest in zombies is an indirect attempt to get a cognitive grip on what former u.s. secretary of defense donald rumsfeld famously referred to as the unknown unknowns in international security. perhaps other also existing genuine but publicly unacknowledged fear of the dead rising from the grave and feasting upon the living at
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major universities and police department have developed lots contingency plans for a zombie outbreak at an increasing number of college students applying human versus a zombie to relieve stress. or perhaps to refer for the inevitable army of the undead. outdoor "life" magazine is running some began features. by a securities and new impaired among national governments are the government of haiti has on the books to prevent this obligation of individuals. want to speculate these governments are doing in private. one must beware of overstating the case. flesh eating ghouls are not only paranormal phenomenon to spark interest. over the past decade aliens, ghosts, vampires, wizards, witches and hobbits were also on the tip of everyone's tongue. for some of the specter of zombies pale to some. from a public policy perspective zombies have greater attention than other paranormal phenomena.
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in contrast to vampires and demons scientists and doctors acknowledge that some variation of a zombie could exist in our physical world. zombies possess possibility that vampires, ghosts, witches and demons are wizards like. declaration does not require a supernatural act. indeed the possibility of zombies can be seen in expert surveys. a recent poll of professional blosser showed that more than 50% of philosophers believe that zombies could exist on some level. in contrast to than 50% of the same respondents were prepared to believe in god. given the wrath of theology and religious departments in the academy it seems childish. the traditional method of zombie can also look different from stories of other paranormal beings. zombies stories and in one of two ways. the odds of elimination of supplication of all zombies, or the eradication of humanity from the face of the other if popular culture is to be least peaceful
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coexistence is a remote possibility of such extreme all or nothing outcomes are lesscommon in the vampire wizard books. indeed creatures of the night i quickly co-opted into existing power structures. indeed, recent history literary suggested vampires are wizards can peacefully coexist with ordinary people provided are sufficiently hunky. zombies, not so much. if it's true that popular culture makes world politics what he currently is, then international relations community needs to address the problem any more urgent manner. and then have to read this paragraph from the zombie leisure because it contains my favorite since an entire book and i'm glad i get to read it out loud for once. the rising popularity of zombies in and of itself another reason for further investigation. research suggests exposure to paranormal narratives increases the likelihood of individuals to
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believe in their existence. such beliefs have a viral quality. that is, exposure to other people's blissful increase the likelihood of accepting that same believe regardless of its logical possibility. as zombies bleed into popular culture, more people come to believe, fear and dread their existence. fear is an alpha emotion that's a powerful emotion or a phobia of the living dead could lead to self-defeating policy response in same way the fears of terrorist attacks led the post-9/11 u.s. military to torture prisoners at abu ghraib. clearly, this is my favorite sense, public fears are being devoured by flesh eating ghouls can only be related by scholarships. so a little bit from realism as to what you would say. realism is a rather dystopic and jaundiced view of the world. in other words, realism is perfectly comfortable in the zombie universe, particularly the world of george is filmed in
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the original night of the living dead, seven people are trapped in a farmhouse surrounded by flesh eating ghouls. despite the common external threat posed by zombies, the individuals inside the house are barely able to cooperate. ties of kinship in the. two separate sovereign entities, the basement in the first floor, are quickly created and ruled by separate individuals. resources, food, access to information, firearms are the object of fears they should be some conflict. temperate a course designed to a public good, any escape and rescue, quickly break down when there are schiff's individuation power. a similar dynamic place at saint out in his dawn of day. this time a band of survivors fortified itself inside a shopping mall. despite the abundance of resources, the main characters do their utmost to rent another cluster of humans from entering the mall. when a biking breaches are defenses they respond by opening a document is to let in more zombies to occupy the attention of the bikers.
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cooperation breaks down in his day of it as well. indeed, the character complains early on in the found a quote we're all pulling in different directions. the fate of humans to cooperate in the presence of reanimated corpses and a common theme that permeates the zombie canon. just as the futility of international cooperation recovers throughout the realistic interpretation of history. how with the introduction of flesh eating ghouls perfect world politics? the realistic answer is simple if unsurprising. international relations would be largely unaffected. this paradigm would be unimpressed with claim that a new existential threat to human condition leads to any radical change in human behavior. to them a click of the undead would echo older plagues and disasters. diseases affect world politics and the black death of a 14th century to the 1918 influenza pandemic. in the past most of these plagues simply reified existing power relationship.
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they develop stronger immunities to play, they gained a greater share of wealth or power during pandemics. similarly modern research shows that wealthier and more powerful societies can whether natural diseases better than weaker and poorer states. to paraphrase, the zombies is the strong will do it again, and the weakness of her devoured by reanimated ravaged corpses. and then finally i worried most of conclusion and to be happy to take as many questions as you are willing to ask. a specter is haunting world politics at the specter of reanimated corpses coming to feast on people's flesh. today the scholarly response by international relations theory has been only skin deep. i have tried to take a much deeper cut at this looming problem. as the preceding page should mcclure international
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relations theory offers some interesting and very predictions and recommendations about how governments, international institutions, domestic interest, bureaucracies and individuals respond to the transnational threat posed by the living dead. a quick review shows condoleezza across different theoretical paradigm. for example, most of these approaches would predict the living dead would have an unequal effect on different national governments. powerful states would be more likely to withstand an army of flesh eating ghouls. uighur ended up in countries would be more volatile to a zombie infestation. whether due to real dissenters, waning public support. quite frankly, or the fallibility of individual decision-makers, international individual likely be imperfect. complete eradication of the zombie menace would be extremely unlikely. the plate of the undead would join the roster of threats that affect the poorest and weakest countries. the different there is also provide a greater variety of possible outcomes than doubled
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of the zombie canon. traditional zombie narratives in some affection are quick to get to the apocalypse. most of the theoretical approach presented here, however, suggest there would be a vigorous policy response to the menace of the living dead. liberals predicted and perfectly useful counters on the regime. neoconservatives believe an aggressive and thorough the military deployment would keep the undead menace at bay. some constructivist would predict a robust pluralistic security committee dedicated to preventing new zombie outbreaks and socializing existing zombies into human society. organizations my air in the initial response but they would adapt and overcome. individuals would be hardwired for an aggressive response against the living dead. these kind of predictions suggest that maybe, just maybe some became the dominant narrative of human extension is overstated. while encourage it, these
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surveys radio cautionary mornings lurking on the horizon. first contest of accounts are still quite possible. bureaucratic dysfunction could trigger a total collapse in state authority. public opinion and interest group pressure would make multilateral cooperation more difficult. everyone would act like zombies. policymakers or individuals could all react against zombies killing many humans and a process. steal these are possible outcomes. whether they're likely outcomes is another question altogether. second, from human security perspective even the optimistic outcomes discussed year would be unmitigated disasters. human security approach is focused on risk to individuals were asked national security approaches focus on risk to stay. anything to threaten individuals bodily integrity qualifies as a threat. in a world of which zombies are
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concentrate in the poorest and weakest register does a few things would have an additional threat to contend with on top of disease, poverty and the erosion of the rule of law. imagery of the world population would not achieve freedom from fear in a world where the undead realm. a sobering assessment highlights a flaw in standard international relations. most international relations theories are states thereby interstate conflict is not all that significant a threat before. consider the list of dangers that opened this book. almost none of them emanated from states. neither terrorists nor hackers possess large swaths of territory making retaliation difficult. natural diseases or natural disasters like the squid or volcanoes did not possess agencies we understand the concept. neither do disease or melting glaciers. the international relations profession always start with the states and governments will continue to be an important part of the world politics equation.
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unless these three can adapt to the plethora of asymmetric threats to the human race they will be hard-pressed to offer policy responses to the living dead. and then one last paragraph and i will be happy to take questions. this is the last paragraph of the book. this one serves as a caution against the fallacious but private view of zombie studies world will end once the dead walk the earth. it is up to its exercise their own judgment into sure what to do with that information. international relations very clear to contain some practical utility. perhaps however the ability of these theories to explain the current global threats and challenges is more circumscribed than international relations theorists claim in their scholarship. informed by these paradigms, he interested and intelligent state of world politics should use their own brains to cogitate on this question before the zombies decide to use them instead. so with that i will be happy to take any and all questions you have for me.
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[applause] >> go thank you so much for the. that was wonderful. i'm looking forward to reading the book. my question has to do with the use of humor here obviously the book is very funny but you are engaging with serious topics. could you talk about the balance between your use of humor and the serious nature of the things you're talking about? >> yes. because zombies are a very, very serious problem obviously. this is a hard tightrope to walk. i first of i guess i came up with this idea when i was writing a blog post which i blog at "foreign policy" magazine but i came up with is in the august 2009. there was a vivid came in treating zombies as a disease pathogen and concluding along with most zombie films and less is why to immediately, zombies
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will eventually destroy civilization as we know it. i wrote sort of a joking blog post. it generated a lot of interesting responses. so i decided wait, this might be a useful exercise. it might be a useful way for students to get a bite into the international relations and. so i figured i would start writing this book. i pitched it to university press and they were interested. the first time i started writing it though i hit a brick wall because i felt like milton berle in front of the keyboard. the jokes were too jokey. it was too obvious and i felt like -- trying to make people laugh and that was right. until i bought at the graceland anecdote, that's too big a moment i was done on trying to figure out how to write this, my editor said look, don't wait
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this will work is if you write as if it is not fun. it has to be completely, and i apologize, this is one of passersby what i discovered about writing about zombies. i don't like puns. it is impossible to write about zombies without having guns. it's an occupation, inviting hazard. once about my scholarly hat onto once i thought about this as an international relations rather to try to make a joke it became much easier to write. so i think i was able to get the tone right there as a result. i have to say one of the things i've been surprised about is that i presented at a couple of different dangers. the first time i did it, uc irvine, i was worried are people going to get the joke. or the many jokes. will people understand the spirit with which i'm presenting this. they got the immediate. that was the thing i was pleased by. and i also presented this at a conference called zombie con which is exactly what it sounds
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like. i was worried they were going to be way too strict about zombies to understand what i was doing and they also got it completely. so i think the key thing was i had to write it in such a way, and i am in all systems, there's a lot of footnotes in his book. there's a long bibliography in this book. i will defend every footnote and every scholarly citation in the book. i think factually everything i wrote, assumingzombies exist, were correct. but that said, just the absurdity of the premise i think is what allows people to laugh when they read it. the one other thing i'll say what i presented this, it's been funny because in some ways i get two kinds of responses that it depends on how much education the person has had in international relations. for the undergraduates or force or a general audience, there's a lot in it that is funny and accessible. there's certain things i will say where most of the audience, might chuckle come in the actual
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international relations scholars and professors are dying in a house because they know i'm going after a particular piece of jargon or a particular phrase that is used all too often in international relations schola scholars. >> do you think your work may have an impact on the zombie fiction or cinema over the decades ahead? >> that would be awesome, wouldn't it? that would be great. let me put it this way. my understanding is that they're making a film version of a great book, and this by the way is the only zombie novel i recommend weapon, called world war z. if you don't care about some is all that much it's a great book. it's written in a fashion that is after a global war against
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zombies in a world history style. that's been greenlighted to be a big budget film like a summer movie release. brad pitt has been confirmed for the. my understanding, i can't reveal my sources, this book has been read by some of the people on that movie law. so hopefully that would become it would be nice to see an effect where the zombie can't itself would be open to somewhat more expansive changes. it would be interesting to see movies we have some bees and humans coexisting we don't have either -- this is the thing that in the end i was pleasantly surprised by how optimistic i was at the end of the book, in every sunday movie a minute one of the zombies introduce. by minute 10 you in the post-apocalyptic wasteland. the most popular zombie thing going around right now is the amc show, the walking dead. it got to the apocalypse. it's going to be tough for that
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show to do it but maybe another show or another movie might recognize this. i would be happy to provide any kind of script advice to any hollywood screenwriter watching this that's interested in writing up a book about zombies. i have a modesty that are probably cool. one would hope this would have an influence not just on the study of international relations, but on film and other arts. >> i have a question. you talk about how the zombie films go from one extreme or the other, either humans are all gone by in our zombies are all gone by the end. and the two films i can think of that are humorous on zombie films, recent kind to in that way. zombie land. there's a small group of human survivors, and shaun of the dead. i was wondering what would
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political science say with as good if you raise very important point. the romantic not become but he or brahma somme as they're not in the business. shot of the debt i think you're correct that zombies don't despair but you'd be safe is a zombies are completely and totally came at the end of that movie. i think the final five minutes of the movie are recruited. in terms of the ways in which they imagine zombies thing you switches primarily as menial laborers, stacking supermarkets check out, you know, shopping carts and so forth. and also that would be the first movie that suggested there might be an ngo devoted to zombie right. in fact, one of one of the things i posit in the book is as you are trying to subjugate the zombies inevitably use the aspects of global civil society form protesting the treatment of undead right.
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like zombies without board and people for the ethical treatment of zombies. "zombieland," to write. in some sense let me put it this way, most moves in kind of like how "zombieland" ends which is now basically control everything but the art a few humans that had out often and to disappear but usually in the romero to for example, the always humans that survive at the end of romero films are issues that you know they were not last all that long. his best movie is done of the dead. it basically ends with two people flying away from the mall in a helicopter admitting that they're low on gas and a slew of how it is. easy to helicopter flying off. technically yes, the human survivor i'm not sure how long they last. i agree with you that i think the comedies do a better job of potentially recognizing the possibility of coexistence, the possibility of heterogeneous outcomes than the straight dramas do in terms of zombie films.
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>> do you consider using vampires or any other kind of creatures in your analysis, or was a zombies from the beginning speakers everyone always asked me about the freaking vampires. at the moment i came up with there's no know, you have to vote -- concentrate on fantastic i think i had a lot of fun ripping on vampires and pointing out, look where the literature is now. indeed, if you go to any bookstore and go to the young adult section, the number of vampire series in the young adult section is truly just starting. i think i listed them in one footnote in the book and do


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