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Horror, Apocalypse and World Politics

Aistrope, Tim, Fishel, Stefanie (2020) Horror, Apocalypse and World Politics. International Affairs, 96 (3). pp. 631-648. ISSN 0020-5850. E-ISSN 1468-2346. (doi:10.1093/ia/iiaa008) (KAR id:79875)


World politics generates a long list of anxiety inspiring scenarios that threaten to unravel everyday life with sudden and violent destruction. From total war and the concentration camps, through nuclear firestorms, global pandemics, and climate disaster, the diabolical violence of the recent past and conceivable future is the stuff of nightmares. The challenge for both policy practitioners and researchers is to engage world politics in a way that foregrounds human consequences. In this article, we explore these difficult experiences through popular culture representations of the apocalypse, a subject of intense interest for researchers in a discipline where global destruction is a distinct possibility. However, we take a different route by exploring the apocalypse through the horror genre, the one place that human suffering is explicitly accentuated. We argue that the horror genre is at once an access point for ethical engagement with the human consequences of extreme violence and a complex terrain where dark imaginings can be politically loaded, culturally specific and ethically ambiguous.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1093/ia/iiaa008
Uncontrolled keywords: Horror, apocalypse, popular culture, nuclear weapons
Subjects: J Political Science > JZ International relations
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Politics and International Relations
Depositing User: Timothy Aistrope
Date Deposited: 30 Jan 2020 01:46 UTC
Last Modified: 20 Mar 2022 00:00 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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