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Political risk management of foreign direct investment in infrastructure projects: Bibliometric-qualitative analyses of research in developing countries

Version 2 2024-06-03, 20:20
Version 1 2020-01-02, 09:49
journal contribution
posted on 2024-06-03, 20:20 authored by W Jiang, Igor MartekIgor Martek, MR Hosseini, C Chen
Purpose Foreign direct investment in the infrastructure (FDII) of developing countries has a history of at least four decades. Bullish demand for foreign infrastructure services in developing countries, in combination with unstable political environments, has buoyed attention in political risk management (PRM). Even so, research into PRM of FDII remains fragmented and unmapped. Thus, the purpose of this paper is to identify the current body of knowledge in this area, uncover deficiencies and lay the foundation for further practical PRM research in FDII. Design/methodology/approach This paper offers a bibliometric-qualitative review of current literature on political risk in foreign infrastructure in developing countries. A 36-year period is identified, from 1983 to 2018. Publication year, area of focus, author(s), institution and country are classified and analyzed through the medium of social network analysis. The tools used are VOSviewer, CiteSpace and Gephi to analyze citation networks of 345 published papers. Out of 345 papers, 94 highly related studies were selected for further content analysis. Findings The study identified the research trends in related areas of PRM in infrastructure (e.g. PRM in international construction and foreign direct investment) by bibliometric analysis, which includes scattered researcher collaboration, wide-ranging and unfocused journal selection, unsystematic and discontinuous research themes. The specific research weakness in PRM in FDII is recognized by qualitative analysis from the perspective of PRM process, which reveals a lack of understanding of the impact of political risk factors, subjective risk estimations, lacking application of mature political risk database in FDII, combined with a shortage of complete and effective strategies for PRM in FDII in developing countries. Originality/value This paper is the first of its kind, providing a comprehensive benchmark survey of the research to date in PRM in foreign infrastructure investment in developing countries. It proposes a framework of future research agenda on PRM in FDII, including special issues on this topic, identification and assessment of political risk factors with objective methods, proposition of PRM strategies on FDII with proactive and active approaches, completing strategies of PRM with reactive strategies from the perspectives of whole life cycle of infrastructure projects, political risk factors and stakeholders. It also addressed the need to investigate the suitable literature databases for researching in this area.



Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management






Bingley, Eng.







Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal