Cindynics (from the Greek κίνδυνος : danger, and also : combat, battle) were initiated in France by Georges-Yves Kervern in the wake of major disasters, such as Bhopal or Chernobyl. Georges-Yves Kervern was a graduate of France's École polytechnique (X55) and had been deputy director of the UAP insurance group : Cindynics do not originate from the academic world, but from the corporate world, which has to deal with practical difficulties.

Compared to classic bidimensional representations of risk (probability x impact), a major reversal of the cindynic approach was to put human organizations back at the heart 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 a pioneering advocate 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 damage : this concept of propensity mastery is the central strategic concept of Cindynics. The propensity-based cindynic approach is corollary to the rejection of frequency-based approaches due to their unsuitability for real, complex and unique situations. While this notion of propensity seems to draw its inspiration from Karl Popper, the notion of propensity mastery is indeed mainly inspired by the linchpin concept of The Art of War : cindynic thinking is a profoundly strategic thinking.

In applying cindynic methodology to informational risks, IFREI was confronted with the challenge of modeling non-consensual situations. Among the problems encountered were the protection of confidential or personal data, and disinformation, illustrated today by deception on social networks for the purpose of interfering in electoral processes, such as that which happened in the United States. These situations are characterized by confrontations between antagonistic operations, in contrast to consensus that are often observed in the field of prevention.

IFREI has thus developed second-order Cindynics by relativizing the concept of situation, and constructing the concept of divergences and the concept of perception disparities, which enables the characterization of the notion of conflictuality (i.e. the propensity of a situation to spark or fuel conflicts). In addition, it enables the modeling of the friction phenomena described by Clausewitz in the military field, which can also be observed in risk prevention operations, but also, more generally, in development actions.

Reducing the disparities and divergences identifiable by the cindynic 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 cindynic models is based on Mioara Mugur-Schächter's work. She developed an epistemological method which she called Method of Relativized Conceptualization (MRC). The descriptive kernel models thus obtained are 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.