The Influence of Investor-Centered Values in the Operation of Political Risk Insurance

in The Journal of World Investment & Trade
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Abstract

This article analyses the investor-centeredness in the regulatory and operative framework of political risk insurance arrangements. The dominant approach to the concept of political risk is profoundly market oriented and the operation of political risk arrangements, based on this approach, involves mechanisms of investment climate surveillance and supervision that further foster investor-centered values. This article argues that the authority of the agents that provide political risk insurance is dependent on the continued promotion of such values. In order to maintain their underwriting business, investment insurers are responsive to investors’ demand for a favorable investment climate in the host country and financial securities in the event of loss or damage – even when these demands are not legitimate. This is illustrated with reference to the operation of a major political risk insurance provider, the US government agency Overseas Private Investment Corporation.