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This book project began in the summer of 1998. I spent two weeks of that summer at Radi, a small village outside Siena, discussing the contents of the MS with a sociologist and fellow doctoral student from the Zentrum für Höhere Studien (ZHS) at the University of Leipzig, Andreas Westerwinter1. Our discussions were mostly about the value, if any, of the discipline of geopolitics and the limited usefulness of neoclassical economics and modern political science for trying to explain current economic events, in particular the emergence of China as an economic superpower. From a wider methodological perspective the aim was to look at which ideas about the study of Man and social life which had been neglected following the Second World War but might still be of value - in the first instance, for my doctoral thesis. Most of these ideas belong to what we should call evolutionary economics, or the "evolutionary approach", today.

A first draft deriving from these reflections was presented briefly to the ZHS at Wilhelm Ostwald's Landsitz Haus Energie in Großbothen the following year. The project of writing this book, however, made way for other priorities, particularly research for the course I was teaching on business intelligence. Eventually, though, I felt a strong obligation, encouraged not least by my students, to complete the book (which in MS form had been in use as a compendium for several years). I also wanted to offer the material to a larger audience, without compromising the book's theoretical content.

Over recent years I have received numerous constructive comments on these notes from hundreds of master's students and a handful of fellow teachers of different nationalities. I am deeply thankful to them. This has not only helped to improve successive annual versions of the compendium, but gave me an in-depth opportunity to learn how different cultures think about the issues presented here.

I should like to thank Prof. Russell Berman for giving me the opportunity to produce a first complete draft of the manuscript as a visiting scholar at Stanford University in 2009. Many thanks also to the staff at the Green Library, and to the Swedish Research Council, for co-financing my stay at Stanford.

Furthermore I should like to thank Prof. Per Jenster for giving me time to work on the MS while a visiting scholar at CEIBS, Shanghai, in 2008, and to Ann-Charlotte Oredsson for frequent comments on the MS (while wondering, no doubt, whether it would ever be completed). I should also like to thank Joseph Le Bihan, my old teacher at HEC in France, simply for inspiration. Thanks to Karin Hamilton Jacobsen at Ventus Publishing and to Geoffrey Sampson for editing the manuscript. Finally, it goes without saying that all opinions and all faults found here are the author's own.

Chengdu, February 2012

1. From geopolitics to geoeconomics

"Intelligence can't live with theory and can't live without it."

Richard K. Betts (2007: 53)

The idea with this book is to show how the study of intelligence can be an alternative approach for the study of economics when the aim is to understand the competitive advantage of nations. We shall describe the study of geoeconomics as a part of normative2 intelligence analysis, written in the tradition of critical theory and based methodologically in the evolutionary sciences.

This introduction aims to show the relationships among the disciplines of economics, geoeconomics, evolutionary theory, evolutionary economics, strategy, intelligence studies, strategic intelligence, business intelligence, economic intelligence, critical theory, and the historical method.

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