Business, Governments and Political Risk in South Asia and Latin America since 1970

Submitted on 22nd November 2018

There is an extensive business and economic history literature related to political risk as a whole, but it is skewed towards certain topics and time periods. A focus has been foreign multinationals (hereafter MNEs) and political risk, with a special empirical focus on the Nazi era in Europe and the experience of Western MNEs in the postcolonial developing world. This working paper draws on insights from this literature, but its focus is novel. It is concerned with domestically-owned, rather than foreign-owned, firms in two emerging market regions. It is also focused on the period after 1970. These decades saw, first, the highpoint of post-colonial government regulations over business, followed by the transition to neo-liberal policies and deregulation. The businesses concerned did not, for the most part, face the expropriation risks of foreign MNEs in the post-colonial period, nor did they face such a monstrous regime as the Nazis. Rather, the political risks they experienced were broadly related to high levels of turbulence and unpredictability. This working paper draws on a new oral history database, which enables a deep dive into how business leaders conceptualized and responded to political risk.

Harvard Business School
Length of Resource
51 pages
Geoffrey Jones & Rachael Comunale
Date Published
Publication Type
Resource Type