Risky Business: How the WEF Global Risks Report Misrepresents the Plights of the Developing World




Taylor, Rylie S.

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Since 2006, the World Economic Forum (WEF) has published a Global Risks Report, which outlines the most-perceived risks projected to shape our world over the next ten years. However, the Global Risks Report’s conceptualization of risk ignores Ulrich Beck’s constructivist school of thought and promotes harmful discourses through dogmatic neo-liberalist structural adjustment programs. This paper will deconstruct the Global Risks Report to reveal its isolation of risk, the reproduction of First World and Third World disparities through harmful discourses, and its ahistorical approach to developing states’ insecurities. I will address these weaknesses through a close reading of the Global Risks Report 2021 and a critical comparison of its application of risk to geopolitical risk theory. Such an assessment contributes to WEF critique by breaking down the basic theoretical construct which makes up the Global Risks Report and providing a foundation for the restructuring of global risk conceptualization.



geopolitical risk, World Economic Forum, risk society, global risks report, Honors College


Taylor, R. S. (2021). Risky business: How the WEF global risks report misrepresents the plights of the developing world (Unpublished thesis). Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.


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