PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2020, Vol. 39 ›› Issue (4): 695-706.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2020.04.016

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Progress and prospect of geopolitical risk research

XIONG Chenran1,2, WANG Limao1,2,*(), QU Qiushi1,2, XIANG Ning1,2, WANG Bo1,2   

  1. 1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
    2. College of Resources and Environment, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Received:2019-04-26 Revised:2019-09-23 Online:2020-04-28 Published:2020-06-28
  • Contact: WANG Limao
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China(41971163);Strategic Priority Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences(XDA20010202);Major Project of National Social Science Foundation of China(16ZDA041)


Geopolitical risk is one of the five categories of risk identified in the World Economic Forum's Global Risks Report, with significant effects on the global and regional peace, stability, and development. How to identify, measure, forecast, and manage the impact that geopolitical risks on human well-being are taken into consideration by researchers worldwide. Global scientific researchers have not yet reached a consensus on the definition of geopolitical risks. Geopolitical risk research has made notable progress in the fields of 1) analyzing the causal factors of geopolitical risks; 2) identifying the impact of geopolitical risks; and 3) measuring and mapping geopolitical risks. Considering the fact that challenges come from the spatiotemporal differences and variability of geopolitical risk factors, the complexity of the various risk causing factors on interaction and response mechanisms, and the unpredictability and uncertainty of geopolitical risks, geopolitical risk research has made further progress on the following frontier issues: 1) identification of geopolitical risk causing factors; 2) occurrence mechanism of geopolitical risks; and 3) monitoring and simulation of geopolitical risks. Future directions of geopolitical risk research in China include: 1) research on national geo-security with spatial differentiation, especially forthesurrounding areas of China; 2) quantitative reconstruction and numerical simulation of the geopolitical risks across multiple scales and multiple geo-factors; 3) new computation ways supporting the interaction of other scientific disciplines and the use of big data, and new platform integrating early warning of geopolitical risks; 4) focusing on scientific issues and promoting the ability of theoretical and practical research output in dealing with geopolitical issues.

Key words: geopolitics, geo-factors, risks, assessment and forecast of geopolitical risks, progress and prospect