© 2019

Politics in Gotham

The Batman Universe and Political Thought

  • Damien K. Picariello

About this book


In Politics in Gotham, scholars from a variety of fields—political science, philosophy, law, and others—provide answers to the question: “What does Batman have to do with politics?” Contributors use the Batman canon, from the comics to the feature films, to explore a broad range of issues in politics and political thought. What can Batman’s role in Gotham City teach us about democracy? How do Batman’s vigilantism and his violence fit within a society committed to the rule of law? What’s the relationship between politics in Gotham and politics in our own communities? From Machiavelli to the fake news phenomenon, this book provides a compelling introduction to the politics behind one of the world’s most enduring pop culture figures.


Batman Christopher Nolan Film studies Comic studies popular culture and politics American government Plato Frank Miller Machiavelli Criminal Justice mass media The Dark Knight Corruption Hobbes

Editors and affiliations

  • Damien K. Picariello
    • 1
  1. 1.University of South Carolina SumterSumter, SCUSA

About the editors

Damien K. Picariello is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of South Carolina Sumter, USA

Bibliographic information


“Thought-provoking, rigorous, and inspired, Politics in Gotham is at once a celebration of the deep, rich mythology of the Dark Knight and a daring interrogation of its implications in today's world.” (Scott Snyder, Writer of Batman, Justice League, and American Vampire)

“80 years of Batman across various media provides a fertile ground to explore the politics of narrative, gender, justice and heroism as they play out in the streets of Gotham… Politics in Gotham is a timely and welcome addition to the literature on Batman.” (Matthew J. Costello, Professor of Political Science, Saint Xavier University, USA)

“A lot of fun which simultaneously offers plenty of food for thought…being the comic book/super-hero geek I am, this tome could fuel enough heated and passionate conversations with all my geek friends to last us a full year on the comic con circuit.” (Michael Uslan, Executive Producer and originator of the Batman movie franchise, USA)

“A fascinating and truly unique reading experience.” (Derek McNeil,

“Rather than dismissing superheroes as fluff, these academics honor the genre with a respectfully laser-sharp lens. Every Batman fan deserves this book." (Chris Gavaler, Associate Professor of English, Washington & Lee University, USA, and author of Superhero Comics)