Sociological intelligence


Sociological intelligence is military or competitive intelligence concerning the social stratification, value systems, and group dynamics of a population.

Sociological intelligence is useful to a military intelligence system because sociological concepts are key to understanding a region's stability, military capability, and foreign policy.[1] The importance of sociological intelligence has been demonstrated most prominently in recent conflicts in the former Yugoslavia, Africa, Russia, and the Middle East. The United States' failure to employ sociological intelligence assets was detrimental to dealing with revolutionary Iran, when ignorance and stereotyping of Iranian leadership as "radicals" limited U.S. understanding of the situation.[2]

In competitive intelligence the term is used to describe a field of sociological enquiry into potential markets or business competitors.[3]


  1. ^ Richelson, Jeffrey (1999). The U.S. Intelligence Community. Westview Press. p. 6. ISBN 9780813368931.
  2. ^ "Intelligence (military) - sociological". Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica. 2009.
  3. ^ Blenkhorn, David L. (2005). Competitive intelligence and global business. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 62. ISBN 0-275-98140-1. Retrieved 26 April 2009.