Corporate Geoeconomic Initiative (CGI)

Increasing geopolitical uncertainties and the return of power rivalries are also leading to global economic dislocations. The pace, depth and scope of current market interventions reflect the new era of geoeconomic power. Sanctions, counter-sanctions, import and export restrictions, screenings of foreign investments - the list of political decisions that influence the room for manoeuvre of companies is growing fast.

Geoeconomics is about the use of economic instruments to achieve political goals. Currently, geoeconomic research focuses on governments as the main actors, while companies are mostly seen as recipients. While this view is popular, it is insufficient. Corporations have geoeconomic agency and are powerful geoeconomic actors.

The geoeconomic power of companies can counteract, neutralise or reinforce a government's agenda. Moreover, geoeconomic concepts play an important implicit or explicit role in the formulation and implementation of corporate strategies and business models.

So far however, corporate geoeconomics has been a blind spot on the research agenda in Germany.

With the Corporate Geoeconomics Initiative (CGI), we aim to describe the ability of companies to define and implement strategies that combine traditional business interests with spatial elements. Furthermore, we take a look at the ability of companies to adapt and respond to an increasingly challenging geoeconomic environment characterised by complex and overlapping places of public and corporate power.

Research and consultancy within CGI focuses on five key areas:

  • Worldview: how do businesses think about geoeconomics? To what extent do companies' geo-economic worldviews influence their strategies and business models?
  • Influencing factors: What is the impact of geo-economic turbulence on key management decisions such as corporate governance, supply chain management or research and development?
  • Risk Policy: How do companies adapt their risk management to the new geo-economic realities?
  • Corporate behavior: What strategies are companies adapting to minimise geo-economic risks and exploit geo-economic opportunities?
  • Cooperation with state actors: To what extent can the cooperation between private and state actors be improved in the future in order to be able to adequately meet new challenges

The goal of the Corporate Geoeconomics Initiative (CGI), newly established at the Henry Kissinger Professorship for Security and Strategy Research, is to create an internationally oriented circle of competence and to initiate impulses for in-depth studies and new avenues of research in this field.


Avatar Schlie

Prof. Dr. Ulrich Schlie

Avatar Borchert

Dr. Heiko Borchert


Other Research projects

International Security Forum Bonn

Task Force on the "Future of Transatlantic Relations"

Strategic Risk and Precautionary Report for Germany in Europe

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