Political Risk Analysis

Course content

Risk analysis is a central management tool for private companies, organisations and government agencies. Risk analysis and risk management practices define in important ways the organisation’s external relations by acting as a tool to identify 'hazardous events' and thereby to define the meaning of necessary action. This course aims to introduce students to a wide range of social science literature on risk analysis as well as to thoroughly introduce students to the concepts and methods of ‘political risk analysis’.

The course introduces students to a variety of approaches and methodologies in risk analysis and dis-cusses the importance of these for organisational decision-making. The course will review how the concept of risk is understood within economics (including financial theory), anthropology and sociology, while also studying the specific empirical risk practices of private companies and public agencies. Moreover, the course will introduce the students to the relation between risk analysis and the broader concept of ‘threat assessment’. In the second part of the course, the methods associated with political risk analysis will be given special attention; showing how a variety of approaches, methods and models can be used to assess the political situation in a given country or setting.

In the context of the debates on different theoretical approaches to political risk, the course reviews and discusses the challenges that private companies and governmental agencies face in conducting these analyses. Students will be tasked with conducting their own risk analysis and evaluate the societal and economic impacts of different methods and strategies.

Altogether, the course consists of 3 main components:

1. Social science approaches to risk analysis; what are the main positions in the debate on risk analysis and management, and how do they differ amongst themselves?

2. Political risk analysis; what are the main approaches and models available for political risk analysis? What can they provide and what are their shortcomings?

3. Exercise: students will be tasked with performing their own political risk analysis and, based on this analysis, execute a short written and oral presentation. The students must provide an analysis that maps the political risk of a certain investment, project or regulation and evaluate the potential implications (from possible profit for the company/partnership to political and societal consequences, etc.). In order to assess the real-life impact for companies and governmental agencies, the course will draw on the cases presented in the course “Security Risk Management” and thereby create a setting for theoretically informed reflection on professional practices. 


Security Risk Management
Only open for students from MSc in Security Risk Management

Learning outcome


Students will obtain a thorough understanding of the most important social science theories, schools and methods on risk analysis and management and have special knowledge of the means and strategies available to assess political risks. Recent developments in the field will be known and students will be able to reflect on the usefulness and future-development of individual theories and the field.


Students will be able to make a theoretically informed analysis of complex risk challenges, as well as understand the different political challenges that arise from different risk management methods and techniques. Furthermore, students will be able to apply risk management methods and techniques in a specific setting, assessing the scope and consequences of a wide range of threats and risks associated with the modern globalised world.


By using knowledge about risk theories, students will be able to analyse, assess and formulate risk management processes and strategies that deals with risks in highly malleable and political environments. 

The course is a combination of classroom lectures, guest lectures by practitioners and ongoing discussions with students. The course includes the development of a political risk analysis based on a real-life working situation, based upon which the students must make a written and oral presentation and dis-cuss the outcomes of the exercise with a professional from a relevant workplace.

The syllabus consists of 900 pages, defined by the lecturer and approved by the Board of Studies. In subjects with oral exams, maximum 25% of the syllabus may consist of literature read previously for another course.

Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
Feedback by final exam (In addition to the grade)
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Oral examination
The examination is an individual oral portfolio examination based on the written political risk analysis.

The exam includes a wider discussion of the syllabus as the examiner is required to evaluate the student in relation to the entire syllabus. The assessment is based solely on the oral performance, i.e. the written risk analysis is not part of the assessment.
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
External censorship
Criteria for exam assessment

Criteria for achieving the goals:

  • Grade 12 is given for an outstanding performance: the student lives up to the course's goal description in an independent and convincing manner with no or few and minor shortcomings
  • Grade 7 is given for a good performance: the student is confidently able to live up to the goal description, albeit with several shortcomings
  • Grade 02 is given for an adequate performance: the minimum acceptable performance in which the student is only able to live up to the goal description in an insecure and incomplete manner
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Class Instruction
  • 28
  • Preparation
  • 168
  • Exam
  • 79
  • English
  • 275


Course number
7,5 ECTS
Programme level
Full Degree Master

1 semester


Read morer here www.polsci.ku.dk -> Uddannelser -> Åbent Universitet

Study Board for Security Risk Management
Contracting department
  • Department of Political Science
Contracting faculty
  • Faculty of Social Sciences
Course Coordinator
  • Ben Rosamond   (2-6575436c6976316e7831676e)

Hedvig Örden

Saved on the 18-05-2021

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