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Pivotal Countries, Alternate Futures – Scenario Planning for International Politics - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Pivotal Countries, Alternate Futures: Scenario Planning for International Politics

Michael Oppenheimer


In our world of increasing complexity and accelerating change, no grand strategy—no matter how well conceived—can be sustained without quick adaptation to events. All strategies rest on assumptions about how the world works, and rapid change is a persistent threat to these assumptions. Without alertness to change and its consequences for existing strategy, risk accumulates and unpleasant surprise becomes a certainty. Alternate futures, if done rigorously and embedded in the decision process, can alert leadership to impending challenges to strategy, and enable testing of potential course correc ... More

Keywords: alternate futures, scenario, surprise, strategy, anticipation, agility, uncertainty, complexity, risk, preparation

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2016 Print ISBN-13: 9780199397099
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2015 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199397099.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Michael Oppenheimer, author
Professor for Global Affairs, New York University