A critical assessment of the conceptualisation of political risk analysis for hybrid regimes : the case of Zimbabwe

Makone, Itai (2020-03)

Thesis (PhD)--Stellenbosch University, 2020.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The conceptualisation of Political Risk Analysis (PRA) has traditionally been influenced by democratic principles. There was an observable increase in academic literature discussing changes in the traditional democratic system from 2006. Interestingly, there was an increase in literature conceptualising the hybrid regime. If the noticeable decline in democracy continues, how would PRA be conducted and conceptualised? The study took a proactive approach to find out if PRA for foreign investors could be adaptable to be measured using principles of the hybrid regime. “To what extent are the traditional conceptual perceptions of political risk in hybrid regimes still applicable, with specific reference to Zimbabwe from 1990 to 2018?” was the main research question. A single case study research design was employed, to the case of Zimbabwe. To conceptualise the hybrid regime, a hybrid regime conceptual framework was developed utilising indicators from Wigell (2008) and Gilbert and Mohseni (2011). This study added political elite cohesion as an additional hybrid regime indicator, hypothesising that the agreement among political elites had an impact on the nature and durability of the hybrid regime. This study finds the hybrid regime to show diverse forms within a single state. Zimbabwe exhibits five types of hybrid regimes. Furthermore, the hybrid regime was observed to be fluid and, noted to be durable. A political risk framework to analyse the hybrid regime was developed drawing inputs from hybrid regime indicators and some political risk indicators. 28 key informants were interviewed from six categories of respondents who were relevant to the discussion of political risk observed in Zimbabwe. This study found that perceptions regarding illegitimacy, corruption, staleness of leadership, adverse government regulation, election violence, and the home-host state relations between the Multi-National Corporation parent country and the host state had the impact of increasing the perception of political risk in a hybrid regime, thus confirming existing literature. Regarding military tutelage, weak institutions, relatively flawed elections (absent of violence), military generals in power, undemocratic means to retain power, minimum horizontal accountability and weak rule of law did not automatically increase political risk as in times past. This study found that the levels of political risk differ within the diverse forms of hybrid regimes, which is contrary to literature that postulated a positive relationship always. If democracy declines, PRA was concluded to be adaptable and, in effect, accurate, taking into consideration the fluidity of the hybrid regime and the presence of specific risk factors, relevant to the analysis of risk in such regimes. As in any discipline, timely re-conceptualisation is crucial and this study provided that for both hybrid regimes and political risk analysis.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die konseptualisering van politieke-risiko-analise (PRA) is nog altyd aan die hand van demokratiese beginsels gedoen. Akademiese literatuur wat oor veranderings in die tradisionele demokratiese bestel handel, het sedert 2006 waarneembaar toegeneem. Dit is beduidend dat literatuur wat die hibriede bestel konseptualiseer eweneens toegeneem het. Indien die waarneembare kwyning van demokrasie voortgaan, hoe sou PRA uitgevoer en gekonseptualiseer word? Hierdie navorsing het ’n proaktiewe benadering gevolg om te bepaal of PRA vir buitelandse beleggers aangepas kan word sodat dit volgens die beginsels van die hibriede bestel gedoen kan word. Die hoofnavorsingsvraag was: “In watter mate is die tradisionele konseptuele persepsies van politieke risiko in hibriede regeringsvorme steeds toepaslik, met spesifieke verwysing na Zimbabwe vanaf 1990 tot 2018?” ’n Enkele gevallestudie-ontwerp is toegepas, met Zimbabwe as geval. Ten einde die hibriede bestel te konseptualiseer is ’n hibriede konseptuele raamwerk ontwikkel aan die hand van aanwysers uit Wigell (2008) en Gilbert en Mohseni (2011). Die navorsing het kohesie onder die politieke elite as bykomende aanwyser van ’n hibriede bestel ingesluit op die veronderstelling dat die samehorigheid onder politieke elites ’n uitwerking op die aard en bestendigheid van ’n hibriede bestel het. Hierdie navorsing het bevind dat die hibriede bestel diverse vorme binne ’n enkele staat kan aanneem: Zimbabwe vertoon vyf soorte hibriede regeringsvorme. Verder is waargeneem dat die hibriede bestel vloeibaar is en kan oorleef. ’n Politieke-risiko-raamwerk om die hibriede bestel mee te analiseer, is ontwerp deur aanwysers van hibriede regeringsvorme en sekere aanwysers van politieke risiko te gebruik. Onderhoude is gevoer met 28 sleutelinformante uit ses respondentekategorieë wat tersaaklik is vir ’n bespreking van die politieke risiko wat in Zimbabwe waargeneem word. Die navorsing het bevind dat persepsies oor illegitimiteit, korrupsie, futlose leierskap, vyandiggesinde regeringsregulering, verkiesingsgeweld en die tuisstaat-gasheerstaat-verhouding tussen die stamland se multinasionale korporasies en die gasheerstaat ’n verhoogde persepsie van politieke risiko in ’n hibriede bestel meegebring het. Dit bevestig bestaande literatuur. Militêre onmondigheid, verlamde staatsinstellings, relatief gebrekkige (hoewel niegewelddadige) verkiesings, militêre generaals in magsposisies, ondemokratiese metodes van magsbehoud, minimum horisontale verantwoordbaarheid en verswakte oppergesag van die reg het nie – soos in die verlede – vanselfsprekend politieke risiko laat verhoog nie. Die navorsing het bevind dat die vlakke van politieke risiko binne die verskillende manifestasies van hibriede regeringsvorme wissel – ’n weerspreking van die literatuur wat voorhou dat daar altyd ’n positiewe verband is. Waar demokrasie kwyn, is bevind, is PRA aanpasbaar en kan dit, om die waarheid te sê, akkurate risiko-analisering vir sulke regeringsvorme oplewer – mits die vloeibaarheid van die hibriede bestel en die teenwoordigheid van sekere risikofaktore in ag geneem word. Soos op enige vakgebied, is tydige herkonseptualisering noodsaaklik, en dit is wat hierdie navorsing bied – beide vir hibriede regeringsvorme en PRA.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/108037
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