Methodology and Empathetic Analysis

I have spent a great deal of time trying to lay the groundwork for an approach to understanding the relations between nations. I was not searching so much for a methodology as for a sensibility for considering and understanding these relations. A methodology is a highly disciplined system of extracting essential variables and creating a predictive model. The subject of international relations does not lend itself to a simplistic methodology (a term I do not intend as dismissive but simply descriptive). Rather it requires a sensibility. The causes of conflict, for example, are rarely rooted in a neat model. They may emerge but out of a sense of complexity and disorder that permits us to grasp the whole, rather than out of a model that simply extracts the causes. The key word here is “simply.” Causation is so intricate that a general model is impossible. I will argue that a system based on sensibility must be created. Let’s begin with a smaller and therefore more manageable unit, the nuclear family, using my own family as an example. It’s what I know best, and it highlights the layers that have to be understood and respected when dealing with human beings. Most […]

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George Friedman

George Friedman is an internationally recognized geopolitical forecaster and strategist on international affairs and the founder and chairman of Geopolitical Futures.

Dr. Friedman is also a New York Times bestselling author. His most recent book, THE STORM BEFORE THE CALM: America’s Discord, the Coming Crisis of the 2020s, and the Triumph Beyond, published February 25, 2020 describes how “the United States periodically reaches a point of crisis in which it appears to be at war with itself, yet after an extended period it reinvents itself, in a form both faithful to its founding and radically different from what it had been.” The decade 2020-2030 is such a period which will bring dramatic upheaval and reshaping of American government, foreign policy, economics, and culture.

His most popular book, The Next 100 Years, is kept alive by the prescience of its predictions. Other best-selling books include Flashpoints: The Emerging Crisis in Europe, The Next Decade, America’s Secret War, The Future of War and The Intelligence Edge. His books have been translated into more than 20 languages.

Dr. Friedman has briefed numerous military and government organizations in the United States and overseas and appears regularly as an expert on international affairs, foreign policy and intelligence in major media. For almost 20 years before resigning in May 2015, Dr. Friedman was CEO and then chairman of Stratfor, a company he founded in 1996. Friedman received his bachelor’s degree from the City College of the City University of New York and holds a doctorate in government from Cornell University.