Political Risk & Identity Lab

The ESG Initiative at the Wharton School
At a time of unprecedented social and political change, companies are struggling to manage political risks and challenges from a changing population. The Political Risk and Identity Lab is undertaking a program of activity that explores the relationship between political risk, demographic change, and corporate performance. We aim to help organizations translate political and social uncertainty and transformation into strategies that create, preserve, and realize value by providing academically rigorous, practically relevant research.

Featured Research

Business and Conflict Barometer

At the frontier of big data and conflict analysis, The Business & Conflict Barometer dramatically lowers the barriers for interested parties to explore and gain an understanding of the dynamics of the private sector, conflict, and peaceful development in Africa at the granular level of companies, locations, sectors, or contexts: for research; for policy, project, or investment planning; for due diligence; and for monitoring and evaluation.

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Gold Mine Studies

In three published papers and two working papers, Witold Henisz, Sinziana Dorobantu and Lite Nartey demonstrate the materiality of stakeholder engagement for 19 publicly traded gold mining companies, show that positive stakeholder sentiment is particularly valuable during a crisis, and analyze different strategies for earning and maintaining stakeholder support.

Faculty Leadership

Witold Henisz smiling in a light colored button down outside in front of trees and brown brick buildings.


Vice Dean, ESG Initiative
Deloitte & Touche Professor of Management
Faculty Co-Director, Political Risk and Identity Lab

Exequiel Hernandez 3760 2203


Max and Bernice Garchik Family Presidential Associate Professor
Faculty Co-Director, Political Risk and Identity Lab

A Brief History 

Recognizing the emerging needs of its students and society at large, Wharton unified several research centers, each with an extensive history of expertise in environmental, social, and governance topics, to form the ESG Initiative on July 1, 2022. The Political Risk and Identity Lab was uniquely positioned to join the ESG Initiative for its investigation of social issues through the geopolitical lens.

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The ESG Initiative at the Wharton School