The Advantage of Outsiderness: Political Risk Management in Historical Perspective

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearch


Many of the contemporary challenges that signal the tail-­‐end of globalization have historical predecessors. In particular, the interwar period was characterized by strong deglobalization tendencies, as conflicts between developed
nations rose, anti-­‐colonial and communist movements gained ground, and international monetary instability increased. Based on the historical case of German multinationals in colonial India, this paper explores how MNEs
responded to deglobalization by developing political strategies and cultivating capabilities that allowed them to successfully pursue international markets in geopolitically turbulent times. Identifying their mechanisms through historical sources and viewing them longitudinally shows MNEs as political actors, not just adapting and dealing with novel political contexts but actively shaping political identities and processes of legitimization. The results suggest a conceptual rethink of political risk, seeing it (i) as a source of opportunities that multinationals can capitalize on and (ii) in relative terms, with MNEs being judged by their contribution relative to other foreign MNEs.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2017
Number of pages37
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Event44th AIB (UKI) and 6th Reading Conference 2017: Contemporary Issues in International Business: Are We Seeing the Tail-end of Globalisation? - Henley Business School, University of Reading, Reading, United Kingdom
Duration: 6 Apr 20178 Apr 2017


Conference44th AIB (UKI) and 6th Reading Conference 2017
LocationHenley Business School, University of Reading
CountryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


  • International business history
  • International business strategy
  • Political risk
  • Decolonization
  • Nationalism

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