The Geopolitics of ‘Girls’ – By Daniel W. Drezner | Foreign Policy

Too choice to ignore. Drezner as cultural con IR theory critic on howHBO’s zeitgeist correlates to the P5 and BRICs:

If Hannah is America, her female friends represent other major players in the Western alliance system. Jemima Kirke’s Jessa, who, on a whim, marries a banker she despises, is France — self-absorbed, flighty, with a taste for the grand gesture that doesn’t quite work out. As the junior member of the quartet, Zosia Mamet’s Shoshanna, the youngest of the four friends, embodies Canada — seemingly polite, but bubbling over with passive-aggressive insecurities. As for Hannah’s ostensible best friend, Allison Williams’ Marnie, she exemplifies Germany. There is much to admire in Marnie — her undeniable beauty, her self-assuredness, and her unwillingness to go into debt. Unfortunately, however, Marnie expects everyone else to behave the same way she does — and is truly flummoxed when others seem to prosper using a different recipe for success. Because she’s so attractive, however, many of the characters still try to emulate or win her approval, to the point of self-flagellation. In this way Charlie, Marnie’s on-again, off-again paramour, represents the rest of the European Union and all EU aspirants — and Charlie suffers just as much as they do. The estrangement between Marnie and Hannah crystallizes the fraying transatlantic partnership better than any earnest think tank white paper on the subject.

If the female characters on Girls represent the West, the two most important male characters come from the BRICs. Ray is a coffee-shop manager, the oldest member of the group, and far and away the most cynical and angry character on the show. He scorns just about everything that every other character says or does, but seems unable to make much of himself. Ray is Russia personified. In contrast, Adam — Hannah’s former beau — is China. He’s a force to be reckoned with, but it’s not entirely clear whether he’s socialized into how the rest of Brooklyn society behaves. One could posit that Hannah’s relationship with Adam represents the promise and peril of the “responsible stakeholder” concept. On the one hand, Hannah seems to use her “soft power” to entice Adam into liking her a lot more than he originally thought — in other words, getting him to want what she wants. He begins to socialize with Hannah’s circle of friends. At the same time, Hannah is unsure just how much she wants to engage Adam, reflecting America’s ambivalence in its relationship with China. At the end of the first season, she is quite uneasy about moving in together. The result is an Adam that, much like China, is angry and frustrated at his treatment by others — which in turn leads to bellicose behavior, which in turn leads Hannah to call the cops and try to contain his behavior. The breakdown in the relationship between Hannah and Adam is yet another example of the security dilemma destroying lives.

via The Geopolitics of ‘Girls’ – By Daniel W. Drezner | Foreign Policy.

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5 thoughts on “The Geopolitics of ‘Girls’ – By Daniel W. Drezner | Foreign Policy

  1. clarkanne12 says:

    So interesting. Plus it made me laugh. I think this is a unique way to explain BRICs, diplomacy, and world relations. Appealing to a common circumstance in society, Drezner has effectively communicated his opinion. Now here’s my question: What kind of solutions does he have for these intricate relationships? How does America plan to tackle the issues of their “ambivalencee in its relationship with China?” This article definitely got me thinking.

  2. kelseyclark says:

    All is fair in love and war right? It was difficult to take this article seriously, but I can see how the cultural approach could apply to this concept. For example, in Clifford Geertz’s article “The Raid” he describes how a Balinese cockfight can be used to explain politics. If you have time read the link!
    source: http://uwch-4.humanities.washington.edu/~WG/~DCIII/120F%20Course%20Reader/CR5_Geertz_Deep%20Play.pdf

  3. I agree with Anne. The article definitely makes you think about possible solutions. The hypothetical scenarios he gives are so relatable, that it makes it easier to understand the actual situations. However, I imagine the solutions to the actual situations will be more difficult to solve than the solutions to the hypothetical situations.

  4. robertnishan says:

    This article seems ridiculous on the surface, but this analogy makes me think that perhaps news is going to be packaged in a pop culture foil. I feel that as time goes on, new will not be well received unless it’s deep fried in chocolate sauce. Many news networks show less and less news and replace it with commentary by experts. I have a feeling that those that can endure “boring” facts (even though they’re not boring) will be the ones that will be holding all the cards. Actually I’m certain that’s how it is now.

  5. emilyjackson830 says:

    I really love how this article allows you to scale down the overwhelming issues of the world. Gotta love pop culture right? At least it can teach us something meaningful! If we were able to look at deep rooted, worldwide issues on a small scale like this TV show, possibly we would be a lot more understanding towards other peoples issues and desires. We have more sympathy towards those we feel we can relate to and this comparison paints the perfect picture for that. I think we should all try to think a bit more in the other person’s shoes, no matter what the circumstance.

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