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Political Risk Analysis: Domestic Factors, International Relations and Economic Impact Assessment

Maastricht Summer School
Netherlands, Maastricht
Maastricht Summer School Netherlands, Bonnefantenstraat 2, 611 KL Maastricht, The Netherlands
Tuition fee €600.00 per programme


The recent developments in Turkey, the social unrest in Venezuela and the ongoing conflict in the Ukraine underline the continued importance of political risk analysis for companies, policymakers and NGOs. This course teaches you the skills to analyse political risk drivers and their impact on the economic growth potential of Emerging Markets. How can political risk be defined? Where can you find valuable open source data? And which developments on a national and global level affect the political risk in a particular country? To answer these questions, you first collect open source data required for a thorough political risk analysis of a particular country. In the next assignment, you write the political risk section of a country risk report about this country. To prepare for this section, you learn how to use a tool to visualize the direct and indirect effects of a change in political risk drivers. In the final assignment, you compare the political risks in your country with those in countries of your team mates. You present all your findings in class. Interactive lectures and roundtable discussions help you prepare for your assignments.

Course Leader is dr. Leonhardt van Efferink (PhD defence in December 2017). He worked as country risk analyst for 12 years, before doing a PhD that straddles the boundary between geopolitics and media studies. Students of his 2017 Summer Schools gave him an average of 9.5/10 for his teaching skills. Former Summer School student Matthias from Germany recommends him because “Leonhardt’s extensive professional experience as a country risk analyst particularly benefitted the course: He constantly managed to round-up theoretical discussions with valuable advice and hints from a practitioner’s side. In addition to his proficient economic explanations, he added unique geopolitical insights to the curriculum. By this diverse teaching approach, Leonhardt excelled in illustrating to the participants the interrelatedness and complexity of economic and political country risks. “

Related Summer School courses from Leonhardt: ▪ Country Risk Analysis: Growth Potential, Economic Policy and External Finances of Emerging Markets ; ▪ Geopolitical Scenario Planning: National Security, Geo-Economics and Foreign Policy Strategy ; ▪ Geopolitical Framing Analysis: National Images, World Views and Global Dividing Lines.

▪ Designing an analytical framework to identify political risk drivers in Emerging Markets, and their impact on consumption, investment and exports;
▪ Structuring and writing a country risk report in line with the expectations of your target audience;
▪ Comparing the political risks in several countries;
▪ Finding, selecting and interpreting open-source data;
▪ Developing your critical thinking skills by productively combining knowledge, assumptions and questions;
▪ Boosting your employability by acquiring valuable skills required for positions in business, government and academia.

M.J.M. van Eck
L.A.S. van Efferink
S. van der Laan

Recommended literature
▪ McKellar, R. (2010) A short guide to political risk. Gower;
▪ Uppsala University/Uppsala Conflict Data Program. UCDP Conflict Encyclopedia:;
▪ Van Efferink, L., Kool, C. and Van Veen, T. (2003) Country Risk Analysis. NIBE-SVV. Freely available as e-book at

You are further recommended to read some of these posts on Leonhardt’s website: Please note that it is not required to do some reading before the course. If you like to read something, select a book that is closest to your research interests or ask Leonhardt for personal reading advice. For more suggested reading materials, check the following reading lists:

Apply now!
Application start
Feb 1, 2019
Application deadline
Jun 29, 2019 23:59
Europe/Amsterdam time

Application deadlines apply to citizens of: United States