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Aon's Interactive Risk Map

Aon Risk MapPolitical risk management is an expanding industry.  Myriad companies in what was once called the Center now advise investors about their financial chances of making a profit in the nations of the Periphery – these days aspirationally termed “emerging markets.”  These risk-tabulating companies also sell insurance on such investments.  The confidence with which their predictions are made is therefore important, because it simultaneously helps investors feel calm, while also worrying them just enough so that they buy the insurance.  This confidence is achieved by laminating universalized categories together: chances of sovereign non-payment, political violence, and banking sector vulnerability, for example.  One particular risk management company has, along these lines, produced “The Interactive Risk Map,” which you can now download to your smartphone.

The layering of the various data into an historical cartography imparts, to users, concrete knowledge about “exposure.”  It is the mediated interdependency of these layers that I wish to explore in my paper. But in the mean time, you can explore it for yourself.  So, plug in your favorite country, kick back, and enjoy!

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Participant: Alexander Dent
Dept. of Anthropology | George Washington University
Presentation: "Media-Piracy's Virtual and Material Entailments in Brazil"