International Relations Theory in Game of Thrones

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Robb Stark: Constructivist

Robb Stark is a voice in the wilderness. The Lannisters cripple his brother, murder his father and hold at least one of his sisters hostage. So he calls the banners of too few men to shuck off the assumptions of the international system and its bondage of the north. He wants none of Littlefinger's climb or ladder, none of King's Landing and less of the balance of power whose slings and arrows constitute the game's lifeblood. He is not a revolutionary but a systemic nihilist -- the Iron Throne can go hang itself. Rand Paul, too, has wandered in the wilderness. Scion of a political outlier, he ran for the Senate and won despite the hostility of Mitch McConnell. Once elected, he led a filibuster of the bipartisan drone war, supports cutting aid to Israel and opposed other untouchables of the national security consensus. As he said to the Heritage Foundation earlier this year, "when foreign policy has become so monolithic, so lacking in debate ... anyone who questions the bipartisan consensus is immediately castigated, rebuked and their patriotism challenged." Though he calls himself a realist, Paul's willingness to confront the social constructs of U.S. foreign policy makes him the system's only revolutionary.

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