For the last few decades most economists have described competition using algebraic equations, convinced of the applicability of methods derived from the natural sciences and which assume an ideal world. Those interested in the practical issues, who have approached the problems from the perspective and methods of experience and practical reasoning, have mostly been frowned on.

The position of the academic establishment has been that if a piece of academic work cannot be modelled by the rules of the natural sciences, it is not worth attention. Anyone who does not publish an empirical data-set analysed using SPSS in one of the established peer-reviewed journals is not scientific.

In this chapter we define a place and scope for the study of geoeconomics. We have previously offered a number of definitions. Here we explore some of the major issues and concepts relevant for the study: the power dimension, systems of lies, its inter- and trans-disciplinary nature, its relationship with evolutionary theory, and differences from both neoclassical empiricism and relativism. The main purpose of this chapter is to show how geoeconomics can be founded in an evolutionary approach by offering an analysis of the development of the study of economics.

Inspired by a recent article on the modern development of evolutionary and institutional economics (Hodgson 2007), what follows is an attempt to classify some of the main areas within what has been called evolutionary economics, and to say something about how economists, philosophers, and social scientists have influenced one another’s thinking.

A collection of anecdotes and maxims is the greatest treasure for a man of the world, if he is able to bring the former into conversation at well-chosen points, and to recall the latter on appropriate occasions.

– Goethe

In this chapter we present a particular literary tradition associated with the study of geopolitics, which we shall call the art of essentialism. The art of essentialism can be described as a realistic and succinct form of reporting a complex social fact by observing individual and/or national characteristics and actions, with particular emphasis on history and geography, and subjecting them to a process of synthesis.

North America


Twenty years after the fall of the Communist bloc, the USA is about to default financially. What at first smelled like victory was a burned dish in the kitchen. It was a victory built on credit and an oversize army. This is the beginning of the decline of the American superpower, though not its end.

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