Title page for ETD etd-10082009-191358

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Fourie, Josef Frederik
URN etd-10082009-191358
Document Title A political-security risk analysis of the Republic of Liberia
Degree MSS
Department Political Sciences
Advisor Name Title
Prof A Du Plessis Supervisor
  • political-security risk
  • Republic of Liberia
Date 2009-09-01
Availability restricted

This study analyses and assesses political-security risk in Liberia based on the research question: What is the level of political-security riskposed by the Republic of Liberia for any potential foreign investor? Political risk frameworks (often with a Western-centric bias) are mostly developed and used to analyse risk in countries (i.e. in the form of country risk or macro political risk) without specifically focusing on political-security risks and on risk in post-conflict African countries. Therefore, the aim was to develop an Africa-orientated risk analysis framework that focuses on political-security risk in post-settlement African countries. Three sub-questions underpinned the basic research problem: What is the nature and scope of political-security risk and which risk indicators identify political-security risk in an African country that has a recent conflict-ridden history? What is the effect of foreign military intervention (e.g. in the form of multilateral peacekeeping) on the risk profile of an African country that has experienced civil war and foreign military intervention for more than a decade? What are the implications of the assessed political-security risks for policymakers and decision-makers? These questions were addressed by determining the nature and scope of political security risk, while also identifying indicators of political-security risk; by introducing, amongst others, multilateral intervention as a risk indicator; and by evaluating the implications of the risk analysis for decision-makers (prospective investors).

As a theoretical framework, related concepts such as risk analysis, strategic forecasting and planning, intrastate conflict and foreign military intervention were investigated as a context and point of departure for the study. Based on a clarification of the concepts risk, country risk, political risk and political-security risk, a synthesised political-security risk analysis framework was developed. This was based on generic macro political risk indicators drawn from four political risk analysis frameworks, namely Brink’s framework, the International Country Risk Guide (ICRG), the Economic Intelligence Unit (EIU) and the Global Peace Index (GPI), with the addition of more specific security risk indicators and indicators. The risk indicators included the political, security and socio-economic sub-dimensions of political-security risk. The indicators of political-security risk were each allocated a risk score, the sum of which, as a political-security risk index, represented an index score of political-security risk. This summed score was interpreted on a risk scale to establish the level of political-security risk in Liberia.

The Liberian case study included a contextual overview of the country with reference to its post-independence history, socio-economic situation, infrastructure and experience of foreign military intervention, as well as a specific application of the synthesised risk-analysis framework on Liberia. Based on an index score indicative of high risk, it was concluded that Liberia is not a preferred destination for foreign investment, despite the high demand for foreign investment. The synthesised framework is mainly limited to African states in a post-settlement phase. However, it is suggested that the framework, with some adaptations, could also be used to ‘measure’ risk in other African states, considering that risk indicators in the framework such as foreign military intervention might not be applicable.

Copyright © 2009, University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria.

Please cite as follows:

Fourie, JF 2009, A Political-Security risk analysis of the Republic of LiberiaMSS dissertation, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-10082009-191358/ >

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