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Geopolitical Glossary For Executives

The Geopolitical Business has created a plain-English glossary of geopolitical terms for business executives to navigate [geopolitics+business].

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Words with an asterix(*) were coined by The Geopolitical Business.









Supply Chain



World Affairs



Expansion of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) group of nations.


A new geopolitical and economic continent bringing together Indo-Pacific, Central Asia, Middle East and parts of Europe, including Russia.

Geoeconomic Bloc

An exclusive grouping of nations around shared geopolitical and economic objectives.

Global South

A group of non-Western nations around the world that are in various stages of economic development.


A new geopolitical bloc made up of India, Israel, the United States, and the UAE that is focused on sustainability.

Partners in the Blue Pacific

A new initiative connecting the US, UK, Australia and New Zealand with the Pacific Islands nations.


A geoeconomic bloc made up of Australia, India, Japan and the US.


The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is a defense and economic bloc of 9 countries (China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Iran).



A digital currency issued by a nation’s central bank (Central Bank Digital Currency).

Currency War

A war-like financial conflict that is created when nations devalue their currencies to boost exports and economy.


Moving away from the US dollar in global trade and as a reserve currency.

Petro Yuan

The rise of Yuan as the new currency of oil trade.



Reduction or loss of business activity in a country or region due to factors like geopolitics, government policy or lack of resources.

Digital Silk Road

Creating digital trade routes between China and the world through technology.

Economic Coercion

Threatening or causing economic pain on a nation for it to change policy.

Economic Fragmentation

The global economy dividing into multiple competing and conflicting zones where business operations (supply chains, factories and movement of goods), foreign investment, innovations, technology, trade, infrastructure and more are no longer shared or integrated.

Economic Security

A new paradigm of national security where all key resources that are needed for a smooth, successful and stable functioning of economy and society are available and secured.

Food Security

Availability of affordable staple food on a consistent basis.


Convergence of geopolitics with economy where either is used to meet the objectives of the other.

Strategic Chip Reserves*

A new strategy for nations to secure and store chips, like petroleum reserves, for emergency situations.

War Economy

A nation mobilizing its economic resources (factories, raw materials, capital, workers, etc) to make goods and support its war objectives.


Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)

A multi-trillion dollar plan from China to connect the world through physical and digital infrastructure around the Chinese axis.


Reversal of globalization.

New Transport Corridors

New routes (sea, rail, road and air) that nations are building to facilitate trade.

Vertical Globalization

A new form of globalization where countries are using technology to erect barriers to trade, capital, people and more.

Yuan Trade

Global trade settled in Yuan, the Chinese currency.



A proposed global institution made up of companies, countries and cities to govern AI (artificial intelligence).

Asian Monetary Fund

A new proposed financial institution, like the International Monetary Fund (IMF), funded by Asian economies.

Corporate Social Credit

A scoring system that determines trustworthiness of companies in China.

Social Credit System

A new social design in China, driven by algorithms, where individuals are given scores based on their lifestyle and conduct in society.


The decisions of governments that define how nations develop and evolve.

Windfall Tax

A form of tax on excess profits that the government declares as obtained unfairly. Also known as Profits Levy or Excess Profits Tax.


Critical Minerals

Minerals (nickel, lithium, germanium and more) that are considered critical to national and economic security.

Lithium Triangle

An informal term referring to Argentina, Bolivia and Chile holding more than 75% lithium reserves in the world.

New Energy Order

A new arrangement outlining the flow and payment of energy among nations.


Corporate Diplomacy

How businesses navigate international affairs and directly work with other nations to protect and enhance self interests of the company.

Corporate Geopolitics

A business playing geopolitics like a nation.


Use of false or manipulated information to create a flawed belief in society.

Geopolitical Business*

A business that has made geopolitics central to its operation and critical for business success.

Geopolitical Disruption

Disruptions to business operations, national security, global trade, economy, society or government caused by geopolitics.

Geo-Ethnic Workforce

A workforce divided into ethnic groups due to geopolitics.

Geopolitics First

A new approach where the entire business and its activities are designed with geopolitics in mind first.

Geopolitically Integrated Enterprise(*)

A new organizational design for doing business in a world that is becoming fragmented and vertical because of geopolitics.

Geopolitical Readiness

Readiness of an organization for playing geopolitics and protecting their operation.

Geo Playbook

The geopolitical strategy of c-suite to guide their organization through current and future geopolitical disruptions.

New Market Risks

Unexpected and unfamiliar threats to business operations in markets around the world because of geopolitics.

Politics Before Profit

Sacrificing profits for a geopolitical cause.

Reputational Risk

A risk to the reputation of a firm based on its geopolitical actions.


Climate Migrants

People who have been displaced by climate change, such as flooding or droughts, and are forced to move elsewhere.

Food Migrants

People that have been displaced by lack of food – and are moving (legally and illegally) to nations who have a steady food supply.

K-Pop Power

The South Korean cultural brand seen as powerful as China’s Belt and Road Initiative.

Supply Chain


A group of nations in Asia offering an alternative to China for establishing supply chains.

China Free

A new approach where nations and companies are not dependent on China for success.


Cutting off dependency on another nation to achieve national and economic security.


A limited form of decoupling where dependence on another nation is reduced in a very narrow, calculated, and strategic way.


Relocating supply chains to nations that are ideologically aligned and considered friendly.


Outsourcing within home country’s national borders.


Relocating supply chains back to home country where they were originally located.


Green War(*)

New conflicts arising among companies, countries, cities and citizens from the fusion of geopolitics and sustainability.


Chip War

Geopolitical and economic confrontations resulting from nations denied access to chips, production tools and software.

Cyber Espionage

Spying digitally to gain access to the inner workings of a nation or business.

Data Sovereignty

Ability of a nation to control and govern data within their national borders.

Geopolitics and AI

Convergence of artificial intelligence (AI) and geopolitics whereby countries (and companies) are using AI to amplify their geopolitical power in the world.

Next Tech Wars

New global conflicts around the next generation of technologies like quantum computing, robotics, etc.

Techno Nationalism

A nation projecting its power by tying technology to national security, economy and identity.

World Affairs

American Hegemony

The US controlling the world through currency, trade, technology, investments, military, institutions, alliances, corporations and geopolitics.


Actions of countries and, increasingly that of companies and cities, to either suppress interests of other nations or protect their self-interests in direct competition or conflict with nations.

Hot Zone

A part of the world that is highly volatile and unpredictable.

Hostile Diplomacy

The aggressive way nations are behaving with each other in the context of diplomacy, generating new operating uncertainties for business.


A global environment where multiple nations are deciding what happens around various issues of common interest.

Next Ukraine

A reference to nations, like Taiwan, that could end up in a war.

New Cold War

A new war-like conflict between the US and China that is not a hot or kinetic war.

New Militarization

A resurgence of defense spending and procurement by nations especially by those that avoided it in the past.

New World Order

A new global environment describing power structures, trading activities, governance institutions and alliances among nations.

Nuclear Chess

Nations looking to nuclear weapons for achieving their geopolitical objectives.


Multiple crisis, like food shortage, inflation, effects of war, hot climate and more, simultaneously spreading around the globe.

Political Risk

A risk that emerges inside the borders of a nation (like a military coup, failed elections, unstable government, social revolution, etc).

Post War Future

A new configuration of the world that has developed because of the Ukraine war.

Rules-based International Order

A set of Western rules that every country is supposed to follow in international affairs, economic trade and global alliances.

Unipolar World

A single country, like the US in the 1990s and 2000s, facing no competition or push back in global affairs.


A tactic of a government to turn currency or trade or institution or something else into a weapon to have its way against another country or anybody the government considers an adversary.

Wolf Warrior Diplomacy

A term associated with China’s diplomats that are openly hostile towards anybody (nation or person or institution) that is criticizing China, its policies or the ruling party.

Xi Doctrine

The thought process of Xi Jinping, the President of China, on the defense and security of China.


A German expression meaning a watershed moment or turning point in history. It came into focus after Germany announced increasing its military budget and buildup after the Ukraine war began. 

Protect Your Business

Geopolitics is affecting business in many more ways than supply chains or tech wars. Do not wait till the next disruption hits you.
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