The Lord of the Rings trilogy sheds light on issues of real-world international relations
Based on their successful undergraduate course at the University of Southern California, Abigail E. Ruane and Patrick James provide an introduction to International Relations using J. R. R. Tolkien's fantastically popular trilogy The Lord of the Rings. Because Tolkien's major themes---such as good versus evil and human agency versus determinism---are perennially relevant to International Relations, The Lord of the Rings is well suited for application to the study of politics in our own world. This innovative combination of social science and humanities approaches to illustrate key concepts engages students and stimulates critical thinking in new and exciting ways.
Abigail E. Ruane, PhD, is Adjunct Assistant Professor of Human Rights at Hunter College of the City University of New York.
Patrick James is Dornsife Dean's Professor of International Relations and Director of the Center for International Studies at the University of Southern California.