- According to a new Willis Towers Watson report, new technology is increasingly driving emerging market risk.
- The most recent edition of the company’s Political Risk Index evaluates the impact of new technologies, particularly social media, on emerging market politics.
According to the paper, social media has increased the effectiveness of activist politics and strengthened social groups that have historically shied away from political activism due to social prejudice or geographical dispersion.
“It’s crucial to dispel the idea that China doesn’t have politics,” said Rana Mitter, a Chinese politics professor at Oxford University. “In fact, in China, social media is a major point of engagement for public opinion, with hundreds of thousands. If not millions, of people participating in debates on difficult social topics.”
“Since the Arab Spring movement in 2011, social media has come to play a preeminent political role across developing and established countries,” said Oxford Analytica’s deputy director of analysis, Dr. Megha Kumar. “At one extreme, attempts to provoke political violence; at the other, the intended use, namely communication.”
According to the report, “flash mob” protests in the Philippines in 2001, which were planned in part through mobile devices, contributed to the toppling of governments. Georgia in 2003, Ukraine in 2004-5, Kyrgyzstan in 2005, and Thailand in 2006. A more recent example was Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s ouster in 2019.
According to Willis Towers Watson, online pressure campaigns in 2021 influenced government policy changes in Nepal, Bangladesh, Israel, and Nigeria.
Willis Towers Watson’s Samuel Wilkin, director of political risk analytics, financial solutions, stated that the insurance enterprise had been caught off guard by some of the political implications of new technology.
“Hashtag-enabled protest movements have evolved with extraordinary speed and scale, resulting in property damage on a scale we don’t normally associate with social unrest,” Wilkin said.
Source: insurance-business mag News
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