Geopolitical outlook: Kennedys' business risk barometer

Understanding the political direction of travel at a country level is increasingly significant for businesses operating across international borders.

The business landscape differs greatly from one country to another. However, there is one factor which is common to most major global markets: the business landscape almost everywhere is increasingly driven by political risks.

This report demonstrates how salient macro-political issues are among grassroots communities, providing businesses and their insurers with a clear understanding of emerging risk to enable long-term sustainable operations. This report marks the first in a series of reports which will assess the changing nature of risk and specifically how re-defined risk impacts business and their insurers.

"Businesses can pay a high price - financially and reputationally - when they mis-judge the social and political landscape within which they operate."

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Barometer risk factors

Working with our research partner Cicero/amo we have undertaken consumer surveys in 12 countries across the global economy. This survey data has been used to create the Kennedys business risk barometer, showing how the political landscape differs in each country. The barometer provides a heat map of a basket of risks currently facing communities around the world.


Globally, the hot issues causing the greatest negative impacts on citizens and communities represent a spread of social, environmental and governance factors:

  • Disease (54%) (post-pandemic)
  • Pollution (52%)
  • Corruption (52%)

Political risk factors generally rank lower, though the negative impacts of terrorism (41%) are widely felt with several countries recording high-risk scores (above 50%).

Economic factors such as free trade (12%), immigration (18%) and technological innovation (9%) all rank as low political risks in terms of their negative impact on communities.

Report chapters

The report is split in to three main parts, exploring the following areas:

Part 1 - The key risk factors

Part 2 - Corporate purpose and impact

Part 3 - The activist citizen

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