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BIPR | Johns Hopkins SAIS Global Risk Conference - The Janika Albers Memorial Roundtable in Political Risk. Anticipating Global Challenges
Johns Hopkins SAIS Global Risk Conference - The Janika Albers Memorial Roundtable in Political Risk. Anticipating Global Challenges

December 8, 2022 - 11:30

Oksana Antonenko - Preston Keat

Event Recap

During this panel discussion, Oksana Antonenko and Preston Keat discuss the main drivers of risk that will organize the world in 2023. In the year ahead, both Antonenko and Keat posit we are projected to face many of the same problems that emerged or escalated in 2022, but in increased severity.

Antonenko first turns to China, predicting the U.S.-China relationship will pose a greater geopolitical risk in 2023. Her and Keat agree that while the U.S. administration aims to mitigate this risk and prevent China from being a strategic rival, their technological and geopolitical rivalry is likely to escalate into the military domain. Economic decoupling is also likely to accelerate, and businesses will take steps to reduce their dependence on supply chain operations in China or move out of the country entirely.

Keat adds that even with the recent relaxation of zero-Covid measures, concerns over the efficacy and rate of vaccination in the country remain. If such vaccination patterns alongside easing Covid measures continue, China may experience a massive spike in Covid-related deaths.

Regarding security risk, the Russia-Ukraine war will play a central role. Antonenko and Keat, along with most forecasters, predict the war will continue into 2023. Unless one of the two conditions for a negotiated settlement are reached via a stalemate on the battlefield or a change in one side's minimum acceptable war aims, Keat proposes Putin will prefer to continue engaging in war than accepting a peace settlement he renders as unsatisfactory.

Antonenko also highlights how the war in Ukraine has demonstrated the essential role of the cyber domain in present and future conflicts. In 2023, we may see technological and regulatory fragmentation of global networks, with individual countries adopting their own national technology and cyber regulation, as opposed to integrating themselves into a system of global networks.

Nevertheless, as the war prolongs, Europe's financial and economic burden will be greater as it continues to support Ukraine. In addition to the rising energy prices and cost of living, Keat emphasizes the exacerbation of inflation as an overriding concern in the year ahead. Stagflation will ultimately result, he puts forth, as slow economic growth continues, unemployment increases, and prices continue rising.

Full Audio:

Johns Hopkins SAIS Global Risk Conference - The Janika Albers Memorial Roundtable in Political Risk. Anticipating Global Challenges
The Johns Hopkins SAIS Global Risk Conference - The Janika Albers Memorial Roundtable in Political Risk

hosted by Professor Veronica Anghel

Oksana Antonenko
Control Risks, UK
Preston Keat

The Janika Albers Memorial Lecture on Political Risk is a yearly event in memory of our late SAIS Alumna supported by the Janika Albers Memorial Fund established and financed by her family and her SAIS Europe Class of 2006. The Lecture is part of the broader Johns Hopkins SAIS Global Risk Conference which has been made possible with the generous support of Mr. James K. Anderson, SAIS Europe Alumnus and Advisory Council member, and Johns Hopkins University Trustee.

On November 24, 2011, Janika Albers, SAIS Alumna (Bologna 2006/Washington DC 2007) from Germany, passed away. She was a person of tremendous energy and determination, a dedicated member of the SAIS Europe community and a much-valued member of Oxford Analytica, the advisory firm where she had worked since completing her SAIS degree. Over the years she not only spearheaded a number of important projects, but also collaborated closely with other SAIS alumni and members of the faculty. Political Risk was one of Janika's strongest interests, and her Bologna Class of 2006, together with her family, decided to undertake the project that she was working on with Professor Erik Jones at the time of her passing, by establishing and financing the Janika Albers Memorial Lecture on Political Risk. This initiative will contribute to keeping Janika's presence alive at SAIS Europe. Janika's family express their gratitude for this endeavor to honor Janika's memory.

For further information on this initiative please click here

Oksana Antonenko is the Director of Control Risks in London. Antonenko is responsible for building strategic engagements with large corporate and investment clients as they evaluate and manage political risk and opportunity. She develops retainer-based client relationships at a senior level across Europe and Africa, drawing on many years of experience advising senior decision-makers – in public and private sectors – around the world. Prior to joining Control Risks, Antonenko held senior roles at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and was Visiting Senior Fellow at the Institute for Global Affairs at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Antonenko has particular expertise on Russia, Turkey, Central and Eastern Europe, Central Asia, European institutions and international financial institutions. She has also previously worked on conflict mediation, including mediating several high-level talks in the post-conflict situation in Eurasia in cooperation with EU institutions, the UN and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe. Antonenko holds an Economics Degree from Moscow State University and a Master in Public Policy from Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

Preston Keat is a managing director and head of political and country risk at UBS. In this role he oversees the bank's political and country risk team, which analyzes a broad range of economic and policy themes, coordinates country rating and exposure limits, and contributes to stress-scenario development. He also leads the firm's internal "Economist Forum" and "Risk Think Tank." Prior to joining UBS, Preston worked for ten years at the political risk consultancy, Eurasia Group, where he was a research director, head of the Europe practice, and a member of the management committee. At the German Marshall Fund of the US in Washington DC, he worked on the Fund's programs for political and economic development in Central and Eastern Europe. He has also taught a courses in political risk (Columbia), political economy, statistics and game theory (UCLA). He holds a Ph.D. from UCLA, an M.Sc. from the London School of Economics, and a B.A. from the College of William and Mary.
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