From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
A political thriller is a thriller that is set against the backdrop of political power struggle. They usually involve various plots, rarely legal, designed to give political power to someone, while his opponents try to stop him from getting it. They can involve national or international political scenarios. World War II is a favorite scenario, as are US presidential elections. Authors of political thrillers include Jeffrey Archer and Daniel Silva.
The question is often asked "what makes a political thriller?" Eric Erik Lundegaard recently attempted a definition when reviewing the recent film The Interpreter, -
- "The basic plot is an ordinary man pulling an innocent thread which leads to a mess of corruption. The corruption should be political or governmental in nature.".