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Cindynics, (of the Greek κίνδυνος : danger, and also: fight, battle) were initiated in France by Georges-Yves Kervern in the aftermath of major catastrophes, like Bhopal or Chernobyl disasters. Georges-Yves Kervern was a graduate of the French École Polytechnique (X55) who had been the UAP insurance group Deputy Director: Cindynics do not come from the academic world, but from a corporate world having to manage practical difficulties.

Compared with the two-dimensional classical risk representation (probability x impact), the major reversal of the cindynical approach has been to put human organizations back at the core of danger issues.

While the questions of actors' finalities and models' validity were imposed in post-disaster studies, Cindynics also had to consider ethics and regulation issues: Georges-Yves Kervern was one of the first proponents of business ethics in France.

Cindynics describe the concept of resilience, and the associated concept of vulnerability, defined as the propensity of a situation to generate damages: the concept of propensity mastery is the core strategic concept of Cindynics. The propensity approach adopted by Cindynics is a corollary of the rejection of frequency approaches due to the unsuitability of such approaches to real, complex, and unique situations. If this notion of propensity seems inspired by Karl Popper, the notion of propensity mastery is indeed mainly inspired by the key concept of the Art of War: cindynical thinking is deeply strategic.

By applying the cindynical methodology to information risks, IFREI had to deal with the issue of modeling non-consensual situations. Among the problems encountered were confidential or personal data protection , and misinformation, which is currently illustrated by the deceptive use of social networks for the purpose of interference in electoral processes, for example in the United States. These situations are characterized by confrontations between antagonistic operations, which is the opposite of the consensus often observed in the field of prevention.

IFREI has thus developed second-order Cindynics by relativizing the concept of situation, and introduced the concept of divergences and the concept of perception disparities, which makes it possible to characterize the notion of conflictuality (i.e. the propensity of a situation to degenerate into conflict). In addition, that allows the modeling of the friction phenomena described by Clausewitz in the military field, which are also observed in risk prevention operations, but also, more generally, in development actions.

Reducing the disparities and divergences identifiable by the cindynical methodology improves operational efficiency in the field of prevention as well as in that of  development. The same approach is naturally applicable both in the field of conflict prevention and in that of conflictuality reduction.

Cindynics thus appear to be a common language that can be used by actors in these three domains: this advance is all the more remarkable that these three domains are most often inextricably meshed in a risk-conflict-development complex.

These developments in Cindynics also echo advances in strategic thinking and for example the emergence of the so-called "unlimited warfare" Chinese doctrine, whose object is precisely the combination of offensive actions carried out simultaneously in several (in particular non-military) areas.

The construction of cindynical models is based on Mioara Mugur-Schächter's work. She developed an epistemological method which she called Method of Relativized Conceptualization (MRC). The descriptive core model thus obtained is purposely compact and limited, so as to be operable in various fields and cultures, to favor transdisciplinarity and cross-sectoral approaches, and to enable extensions fitting specific situations.