Saunders notes that science fiction can be used as an effective entry point to critically examine imperial geopolitics. Not only does it afford students the opportunity to question the content of SF, but engage in discourse analysis.
As both SF and geopolitics are based on exploration of space, exploitation of systems and control over the opposition, effective parallels can be drawn to both understand and critique current political issues.
SF allows the extrapolation and exploration of potential outcomes and a modeling of potential systems. You can’t test a model for geopolitics in real time so SF allows you to explore geopolitical models without offending. For example, if we were to talk about excluding Russia from the United Nations, to predict or analyze what the potential political reality would become, our exploration would be limited, due to potential opposition based on the geopolitical allegiance. SF can become one way of discussing current political issues through the use of metaphors, thus not upsetting the geopolitical climate.
However, can SF be deemed as propaganda? It is clearly not impartial and when comparisons are drawn to current geopolitical affairs, SF can become a dangerous tool of manipulation. Is SF merely biased information that offers a glimpse of the future?
Saunders, R. A. (2015) Imperial imaginaries: employing science fiction to talk about geopolitics. Popular Culture and World Politics: Theories, Methods, and Pedagogies. 149-159