New Books Network

Stephen Benedict Dyson

Imagining Politics

Interpretations in Political Science and Political Television

University of Michigan Press 2019

New Books in Arts & LettersNew Books in CommunicationsNew Books in FilmNew Books in Political ScienceNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books in Popular CultureNew Books Network January 13, 2020 Lilly J. Goren

Stephen Dyson has provided a fascinating and engaging analysis of political science, the discipline, and political television in his new book, Imagining Politics: Interpretations...

Stephen Dyson has provided a fascinating and engaging analysis of political science, the discipline, and political television in his new book, Imagining Politics: Interpretations in Political Science and Political Television (University of Michigan Press, 2019). By examining particular popular culture narratives, in this case, nine popular and engaging television series, Dyson is not only analyzing the tropes and themes of these series, but he is braiding them together with broader disciplinary frameworks and concepts from political science. Thus, this book presents dual interpretative perspectives—from political science and from televisual narratives. Dyson’s larger point is that politics itself is a form of narrative that political scientists attempt to explain and make sense of through our own narrative constructions by way of conceptual theories of interpretation. In so doing, Imagining Politics is weaving together fictional and non-fictional narratives to compel the reader to consider how we frame and think about our understanding of politics and how we explain politics, especially in a discipline largely developed and devoted to making sense out of public life within contemporary western democracies.


Lilly J. Goren is professor of political science at Carroll University in Waukesha, WI. She is co-editor of the award winning book, Women and the White House: Gender, Popular Culture, and Presidential Politics (University Press of Kentucky, 2012).