A pedagogical plea regarding Theories of International Politics and Zombies

Late last month, Princeton University Press informed me that Theories of International Politics and Zombies had crossed the 10,000 sales mark just six months after its release.  By commercial publishing standards, this represents a modest successs.  By academic publishing standards, well, it’s the kind of thing that makes this sort of behavior very tempting.   Why has ...

By , a professor of international politics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and co-host of the Space the Nation podcast.

Late last month, Princeton University Press informed me that Theories of International Politics and Zombies had crossed the 10,000 sales mark just six months after its release.  By commercial publishing standards, this represents a modest successs.  By academic publishing standards, well, it's the kind of thing that makes this sort of behavior very tempting.  

Late last month, Princeton University Press informed me that Theories of International Politics and Zombies had crossed the 10,000 sales mark just six months after its release.  By commercial publishing standards, this represents a modest successs.  By academic publishing standards, well, it’s the kind of thing that makes this sort of behavior very tempting.  

Why has it dome so well?  Well, I was extraordinarily lucky it has been marketed in many unusual venues.  Still, I suspect the biggest reason for these numbers is that TIPZ is now being assigned in college courses (and in some rather disturbing instances, in lieu of college class sessions).   Indeed, its popularity has led to juuuuust a wee bit of blowback from a few students and faculty

Which leads me to the purpose of this blog post.  Consider this an open request to both students and faculty who are using the book ij their classes.  Is it useful?  Not so much?  Too many puns?  Not enough?  Are there ways to make it more useful for students?  I’ve already received some very positive pedagogical feedback, but negative feedback — i.e., anything that needs to be changed — is welcomed as well. 

I ask because, more likely than not, I’ll be working on a revised revived edition of TIPZ in about a year or so.  Such a revision will, of course, add in more topical zombie references (Both comic book and TV versions of The Walking Dead, or MTV’s Death Valley), recent policy developments (the CDC weighing in on the zombie menace), follow-on research, and a fleshing out of additional theoretical paradigms  as well.  Plus more drawings, because they’re awesome. 

So, let me know what you’d like to see in the new edition to make it even more useful in a classroom setting.  And if you insist on telling me that the text is completely perfect as is, well, I can bear hearing that too.

Daniel W. Drezner is a professor of international politics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and co-host of the Space the Nation podcast. Twitter: @dandrezner

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