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Themes

We know what you're thinking. You want the zombie apocalypse to hit because it means you'll never have to deal with another election season again. While we feel for you, we now know the truth thanks to World War Z: politics will be just as, if not more, important when the undead finally rise from their graves. Granted, it'll be the failures of a corrupted government and inefficient bureaucracy that'll lead to the zombie apocalypse in the first place. But then we as a people will have to start taking responsibility for the government's failings and change the bureaucratic problems rather than simply blaming others. (But … isn't that the point of bureaucracy?) Only then will we score the triple win of beating the zombies, fixing—some—of the political machine, and ending the political bumper sticker business once and for all.

Questions About Politics

  1. Why is bureaucracy so inept when dealing with the zombie threat? What does this suggest about the novel's feelings toward politics? Does it connect into any other themes?
  2. According to Jurgen, what aspects of Israeli politics allow it to be receptive to the zombie threat? Are these aspects featured in the political changes that come later in the novel? Where?
  3. Do you see any point where government begins to deal with the zombie threat effectively? What point is this, and what changed from earlier in the novel?
  4. By the novel's end, what political systems come out on top? Which ones fail? What does this suggest about the theme of politics in the novel?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

Although set in a modern era, the treatment of Russia in the novel shows that the politics of this world are still steeped in a Cold-War-era mentality.

The novel's scope is global, but its politics are a little more ethnocentric. Countries that do well in the novel are those with American-like political systems.

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