Risk Assessment

Inquiring the World’s Future

Any decision-maker in government or business who is concerned about the planet’s sustainable future and is looking for serious guidance, might consider studying the “2011 State of the Future” report. Published by The Millennium Project, an international participatory think tank established in 1996, this year’s report is the fifteenth of its kind, and it is…

A Downgrade of Confidence

Political risks know no vacation. August 2011 will be remembered as a month of misery, not simply because of the politically induced crash on the stock markets during the first two weeks, but also because of the spreading sensation of angst that the industrialized world might be facing a new economic recession. Put in a…

Analyzing the Role of Politically Exposed Persons in Tender Projects

A major concern for a company getting engaged in a tender project in a foreign country is the opaque role that Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs) might play through the relationship between business and politics surrounding the project. This article builds on previous explorations of approaches to political risk research, and ties in with the recent…

Conflict Resolution (II): A Risk Evaluation Tool for Mediators

The second part of the article on conflict resolution draws the conclusions from the previously developed argument, that mitigating the risks of peace negotiations, as perceived by the conflict parties, is the key to ending protracted conflict (see Conflict Resolution (I): Peace-Making and Risk-Taking). The risk evaluation tool introduced below, aims to identify and assess…

Conflict Resolution (I): Peace-making and Risk-taking

Parties who are involved in a protracted conflict must take risks in order to be able to settle their dispute. This argument may seem counter-intuitive at first, but consider the Middle East conflict as the perhaps most notorious case. For many years of on-and-off peace talks, both the Israeli government and the representation of the…

The Issue-based Approach to Monitoring Political Risk

Given the diversity of countries to monitor, this article introduces a generic method for political risk intelligence that can easily be customized to a client’s needs. Defined as the issue-based approach, it mediates between the macro-level of assessing the main categories of political risk and the micro-level analysis of political power networks. The issue-based approach…

Risk Propensity and Conflict Behavior

Advisors active in conflict management need to consider what drives the conflict behavior of the parties involved in a dispute. Conflict behavior is, to a certain extent, motivated by rational strategic interests. But the escalation of a conflict also results from socio-psychological factors, such as attribution effects, as well as cognitive biases, such as framing…

The Political Risk Analyst (II)

Political Risk Analysis is the child of two parents: political economy and area studies. Both academic fields are, per se, interdisciplinary and multifold in their approaches to studying the interrelations between political, economic, social and cultural developments in specific countries and regions, and are therefore a perfect match. As outlined in the first part of…

Political Risk and Political Due Diligence (I)

The dramatic and still undecided processes of regime change in the Arab world highlight the fundamental relevance of political risk for doing business in countries that were wrongfully regarded as stable, until the outbreak of civil unrest. Even though political violence in host countries is the most vivid case of political risk, there are other…

Food Security within the Global Risk Matrix

The rules of political survival call for the governments meeting at the G20 summit in Paris on February 18 to improve food security. While the scandal of almost one billion people worldwide affected by chronic hunger persists, it is the political risk of food riots that might give the matter a new priority. Various factors…