Peter Zeihan

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Peter Zeihan
Born (1973-01-18) January 18, 1973 (age 49)
OccupationGeopolitical analyst

Peter Zeihan (ZY-ən,[1] born January 18, 1973) is an American geopolitical analyst, author, and speaker.[2][3] He analyzes data from geography, demographics, and global politics to understand economic trends and make predictions.[2][3][4][5][6]

Early life and education[edit]

Zeihan was born in 1973[7][8] and grew up adopted in Iowa.[9][10] He attended the Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce at the University of Kentucky.[11] He is a former analyst for the Austin-based geopolitical intelligence firm Stratfor.[12]


Accidental Superpower (2014)[edit]

  • The Accidental Superpower: The Next Generation of American Preeminence and the Coming Global Disorder (Hachette Book Group, 2014)

Zeihan frames the current geopolitical situation as the drawdown of the global economic system that the United States imposed upon the free world at Bretton Woods after its victory in World War II: The United States used its overwhelming naval superiority to build a global trade network as a means towards the end of soviet containment, but is belatedly realizing that the Soviets are gone, that the rest of the world's markets don't have much to offer because they are entering dire economic straits due to aging demographies, and that America is insulated both geographically and, thanks to shale oil, its energy independence.[13]

Zeihan writes that Russia's declining birthrates and ageing population of skilled labor will put Russia on "a collision course" with its eight EU member state neighbors and Ukraine, asserting that "if it [Russia] fails to act before 2022, it will lose the capacity to act both militarily or economically," although he does not specifically predict Russia's 2022 invasion of Ukraine. Zeihan writes that "should Russia follow a piecemeal approach it can encroach upon Europe’s eastern borders without unduly provoking Western Europe’s heavyweights.”[14]

Zeihan also predicts a U.S. disengagement from the world, which in turn will leave other states to fend for themselves in securing access to food and energy commodities. He expects an imminent period of international disorder:

American disinterest in the world means that American security guarantees are unlikely to be honored. Competitions held in check for the better part of a century will return. Wars of opportunism will come back into fashion. History will restart. Areas that we have come to think of as calm will seethe as countries struggle for resources, capital, and markets. For countries unable to secure supplies (regardless of means), there is a more than minor possibility that they will simply fall out of the modern world altogether.[15]

The book was well received, noted as being one of the "best political books of all time" by BookAuthority,[16][17] and was given high praise by The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and Kirkus reviews.[12][18][19]

The Absent Superpower (2017)[edit]

The Absent Superpower: The Shale Revolution and a World Without America (Zeihan on Geopolitics, 2017) About the changing world in terms of terrorism spreading in the Middle East, Europe. Russia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, China and Japan and financial breakdown in Asia and Europe.

Through the analysis of geographic, demographic and energy trends, it proposes that only the United States is geographically wealthy, demographically robust, and energy secure through shale oils. This re-industrializes the United States, accelerates the global order's breakdown, and triggers a series of wide ranging global military conflicts that will shape the next two decades. The theme of the book is that as the global economy, energy and security become chaotic, the United States will be insulated and unconcerned ... "absent". Zeihan maps out the threats and opportunities as the world descends into Disorder.

Disunited Nations (2020)[edit]

Disunited Nations: The Scramble for Power in an Ungoverned World (Harper Business, 2020)

This book states that the world is entering its greatest period of change in nearly a century as US hyper-involvement in global affairs is ending. Allies that depend on the USA for security, will see a return to the historical norm: several smaller, competing powers and economic systems throughout Europe and Asia. The impacts on global energy and agricultural markets, finance and technology will be transformative, but the heirs are not who you think. For geographical and demographical reasons, Russia, India, China and Brazil will NOT become the superpowers of the future.

The End of the World is just the Beginning (2022)[edit]

Zeihan forecasts the ability of nation states to cope with the consequences of what he sees as inevitable deglobalization, with special focus on transport, finance, energy, materials, manufacturing and agriculture sectors. He predicts the US to fare comparatively well, given its access to both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, deepest and best integrated capital markets and its energy independence – the latter having been recently acquired through the shale oil revolution. He highlights the productive US agricultural sector, the country's food exports, relatively favorable climate and fertile land as additional boons. By contrast, Zeihan paints a bearish longer-term picture for the United States' economic rivals, especially Russia and China. Zeihan highlights these countries' ageing demographic profile, inferior maritime capacity, and their respective capital markets not being nearly as deep or integrated as those of the US. He attributes the latter to Western sanctions against Russia, and a closed capital market in China. He highlights China's deep reliance on energy imports as another key weakness.

Zeihan also predicts Europe will face several challenges of its own, including ageing demographics, energy dependence and lack of access to industrially important materials. Africa and India, according to Zeihan, will have numerous and severe problems, including the ability to feed their citizens.


  1. ^ "COVID Update: 10/15/2020" – via
  2. ^ a b "Pen and Sword: Disunited Nations, with Peter Zeihan". Stratfor. Retrieved 11 June 2020.
  3. ^ a b "How Coronavirus Is Accelerating the End of Globalism, Feat. Peter Zeihan". Retrieved 11 June 2020.
  4. ^ Hoskinson, Charles. "Is Putin Risking World Peace Because Russia is Dying?". Washington Examiner. Retrieved 14 November 2016.
  5. ^ LaFranchi, Howard. "What is Vladimir Putin up to sending Russian bombers close to the US?". Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 14 November 2016.
  6. ^ Denning, Liam (19 August 2014). "Oil's New World Order". The Wall Street Journal. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 14 November 2016.
  7. ^ Center, McConnell (27 April 2017). "Peter Zeihan on "The New President & the World: Challenges & Opportunities"" – via Vimeo.
  8. ^ "Executive Profile - Zeihan on Geopolitics - Peter Zeihan - Customer Intelligence".
  9. ^ "Hold my Drink: Episode 12: Disunited Nations | Peter Zeihan on Apple Podcasts". Apple Podcasts.
  10. ^ " The Accidental Superpower: The Next Generation of American Preeminence and the Coming Global Disorder eBook: Peter Zeihan: Kindle Store".
  11. ^ IFTV (24 November 2014). "Peter Zeihan" – via YouTube.
  12. ^ a b Denning, Liam. "The Coming Hobbesian World". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved December 3, 2014.
  13. ^ "USA became net exporter of petroleum in Oct 2019". Retrieved 2020-06-25.
  14. ^ Zeihan, Peter, The Accidental Superpower: The Next Generation of American Preeminence and the Coming Global Disorder (New York: Hachette Book Group, 2014) p. 155 ISBN 978-1-4555-8368-3
  15. ^ Zeihan, Peter, The Accidental Superpower: The Next Generation of American Preeminence and the Coming Global Disorder (New York: Hachette Book Group, 2014) p. 155 ISBN 978-1-4555-8368-3
  16. ^ "100 Best Economic Development Books of All Time". BookAuthority. Retrieved 2019-12-17.
  17. ^ "100 Best Politics Books of All Time". BookAuthority. Retrieved 2019-12-17.
  18. ^ Zakaria, Fareed. "America's prospects are promising indeed". The Washington Post. Retrieved November 20, 2014.
  19. ^ THE ACCIDENTAL SUPERPOWER by Peter Zeihan | Kirkus Reviews.

External links[edit]

Zeihan's website