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The Jedi and free trade – the political economy of Star Wars July 27, 2010

Posted by Sverre in : Political economy, Political Science in Popculture , add a comment

Were the Jedi knights enemies of liberty? The political philosophy of the Jedi is explored by both Reason‘s Jesse Kline and Dan Drezner of Foreign Policy in recent blog posts. Kline claims that the main goal of the Jedi was to enforce the big government agenda of the Galactic Republic. Drezner refutes that we actually know too little of the agenda of the republic at all. What we do know, however, is that Palpatine tried to set up a totalitarian state that would surely be anti-liberal and big government.

The Trade Federation - evil trade monopolists

Drezner claims that we have little information on the pre-Phantom Menace policies of Supreme Chancellor Vallorum, leader of the Galactic Republic. We do however know that the monopolistic and militaristic  Trade Federation appears to be at least partially sanctioned by the Republic, as they have their own representatives in the Senate. Vallorum does however appear somewhat opposed to their blocade of trade to Naboo, as he at the beginning of The Phantom Menace  dispatches the Jedi to negotiate.

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Watchmen – political science in popular culture November 21, 2008

Posted by Sverre in : Political Science in Popculture , 5comments

watchmenStruggling with those political science textbooks, falling asleep every few minutes? We’ve all been there. Why not try learning from somewhere else? Like from a comic?

Watchmen is one of the best graphic novels ever made, and according to Martin Seymour-Smiths’s The 100 most Influential Books ever Written[1] also among the most important books overall. It has received a lot of credit for along with Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns being one of the works to reinvent the new adult style of comics. But in addition to being a story that changed the history of comics, it’s so much more than a super hero story that The Dark Knight Returns can never hope to come close to. It is also a story about the cold war and the madness of the nuclear arms race. My claim is that you could learn quite a bit of political science by reading it. (more…)