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The Churn: Hope is a Thing with Zombies

World War Z Brad Pitt

What has two heads, four arms, and an unslakable desire for post-apocalyptic content? The hosts of SYFY WIRE's The Expanse podcast, The Churn!

That’s right, while the premiere of Season 5 of The Expanse is still months away, Ana Marie Cox and Daniel W. Drezner could not stop thinking about how it might be diverting to apply their brand of political science-meets-science-fiction analysis to content that has, unfortunately, come very close to home: fiction that addresses world-threatening disease outbreaks. Thus was born The Churn: Pandemic Edition.

Is the art of crisis management to raise the stakes where zombies will not go? Is the arrogance of empire repealed when the living dead stagger through our doors? Ana and Dan turn from global responses to the unfortunately reanimated and focus on how domestic governments would respond to a demand for brains.

Looking to the real history of how regimes deal with unprecedented emergencies, it turns out that neither stable bureaucracies nor longstanding autocracies are very nimble or effective against zombies. Authoritarian leaders are restrained by their dependency on force to ensure cooperation; bureaucracies are themselves somewhat like zombies: lumbering, unthinking entities set only on their own survival.

All is not lost, however! Tune in to find out how the zombie canon underestimates the resiliency of us humans and how the work of feminist writer Rebecca Solnit has given Dan some optimism about the possibility of a happy ending for a post-zombie world.

Listen below!

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If you have questions for the cast and crew, tweet us @syfywire with the hashtag #TheChurn.