How I Can Help #1: What Are Good Sources Of Information About Political Risk?

In my last article, I made a commitment to you that I would offer help. I think a good place to start is to share some of the insight that I have concerning where to find objective information about political risk.

This list isn’t all inclusive, but I think it offers a starting point. Before I get started, just a couple of general comments.

First, this isn’t complicated. You don’t need an advanced degree in political science or international relations to develop a basic understanding of political events and trends and how they may impact your business. The sources that I am going to recommend are easy to understand and do a great job of discussing issues in layperson’s terms.

Second, all sources offer a perspective. Very few sources are completely unbiased. It is important that all perspectives are considered. After looking at all sides, then form an opinion. Don’t fall into the trap of confirmation bias, only looking at sources that confirm what you already think.

Finally, the effort to learn more about political risk and events takes commitment. Taking time to read is important and should be part of your weekly routine. A couple of hours a week should do it. It is time well spent.

That being said, here is my list of information sources that I like to use. When discussing these publications, I use the digital rather than print platform. Some require a subscription. I have tried to stay away from recommending daily newspapers (New York Times, Washington Post, , etc.) cable TV networks, or news network websites as we all have our favorites and I don’t want to start an argument!!!

General Publications

Wall Street Journal

This is one of the best newspapers in the country in terms of objective reporting. Most articles and analytical essays are well researched and well written and tend to be pretty objective. Business and macroeconomics is their strong suit and their politics and international section is excellent, too. More descriptive than heavy duty data analysis and number crunching. I read it every day.

The Economist

This is a British publication that has been around for over 150 years. I read it because it really offers a fresh overseas perspective about things in the United States as well as internationally. Articles are well written and researched, but can be a bit long sometimes. Their analysis of international affairs is excellent and they offer interesting insights into business and economics.

Financial Times

This is another British publication that is really, really good. Much more in depth in its analysis of business and economics and can be really data crunching at times. Sometimes it gets a bit too deep, but the writing and analysis is top notch. Good stuff.

Forbes

Very business oriented. I’ve found that their feature pieces are well written and researched. I usually use it as a second level source after I have done initial reading. I find that it can be a bit biased and a little too pro-business, depending on the author.

BBC World Service Website or App

This is like a daily newspaper for me. Good writing and overview of what is going on in the world.

More Specialized Publications and Websites

Foreign Affairs

In my mind, this is the “go to” source for more in depth analysis of international affairs, political economy, and political risk. The authors are top drawer, many names you will recognize from government and business. The articles are excellent and offer real insight into what’s going on. The writing is heavy on analysis and opinionated, sometime obnoxiously so, but that’s OK. I think the best way to read this is on the website or by subscribing to their daily newsletter. This is “The Bible” for those of us who work in the discipline.

Foreign Policy

A similar type of publication to Foreign Affairs, but the articles aren’t quite as long. They also seem to lean more to the left in terms of bias. Again, that’s OK, because it offers a different perspective and we need to look at all sides. Just wanted to give you a head’s up. Articles are well written and researched and offer an interesting perspective.

European Council on Foreign Relations (www.ecfr.eu)

This is a really good source of information, especially if you are interested or involved in Europe. Obviously, it offers a European perspective on things, but the writing is good and the articles are not too analytical, as long as you stick to the main page and don’t wander into more specific and longer reports section of the website. I read it once a month as the content changes monthly.

Politico Europe (www.politico.eu)

This is a section of the Politico website. I think it offers excellent insight into what’s going on in Europe on a day to day basis. Obviously, covers political news, but the writers are, for the most part, based in Europe and offer an interesting perspective on politics and policy in Europe. I think it is really strong on Germany.

Again the list isn’t all inclusive by any stretch of the imagination. I haven’t mentioned the more academic journals or foreign based publications that that I read from time to time, but this list will get you headed in the right direction.

As I read this stuff everyday, I try to post on LinkedIn articles that I think might be of interest. I try to act as an archivist in order to make your life easier. Follow me on LinkedIn and you can access this information. You can also visit my blog at www.politicsfromtheheartland.com for my take on things.

Again, information is knowledge. Happy reading and don’t hesitate to contact me if you have questions or comments. Always glad to help!

What sources do you use or recommend?

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