Humanities and Applied Social Sciences

The Geopolitical Strategies for MNEs in the de-Globalization Era


Overview of the Special Issue’s Theme 

The global pandemic, the war in Ukraine, and US-China tension have fundamentally reshaped the global business arena. These problems further exacerbate the de-globalization trend that will inevitably impose more obstacles for MNEs. Therefore, MNEs which have experienced rapid growth in the past four decades due to a relatively stable global business environment have to face a new reality, which will be plagued by turbulence, animosity, and protectionism. Therefore, to achieve further growth, the senior executives of these MNEs would need to seriously reflect upon a critical question: how can they steer their organizations successfully towards their strategic objectives in such an ever more divided, hostile, and highly politicized business world?

Mainstream research in international business focuses on the impact of location advantages and ownership on MNEs’ performance (Dunning, 1977; Hymer, 1976) and has paid less attention to the geopolitical contexts in which MNEs operate. A small stream of research examines the political strategies of MNEs by looking at the management of political risk in host countries (Henisz, 2016; Kobrin, 1982), the interplay between national sovereignty and MNEs (Vernon, 1998), and the impact of local animosity on firm valuation (Dorobantu, Henisz, and Nartey, 2017). However, geopolitical challenges and opportunities cannot be addressed sufficiently by MNEs’ political strategies, which are primarily designed and executed for a particular host country. MNEs would need to develop effective geopolitical strategies which are more “regional” or “international” in perspectives and scopes compared to more “domestically-oriented” political strategies.

Geopolitical studies have a long history, but as a field of study, it is often embedded in disciplines such as global politics and international relations. It mainly concerns the practices of states controlling and competing for territory and power (Flint, 2006). In the de-globalization era, states intend to achieve their political objectives by exerting an increasing amount of influence over MNEs’ global operations, strategies, and outcomes. Huawei’s ban from operating in the European and North American markets vividly demonstrates the enormous power of nations’ geopolitical concerns over MNEs’ overall market performance. Although some scholars have already examined firms’ political strategies, albeit in a limited manner, very few studies focus on MNEs’ geopolitical strategies except Shi et al. (2016) and Lubinski and Wadhwani (2019). To better prepare MNES for such a challenging world ahead, scholars should devote greater attention to this increasingly important field.

Considering these issues, it is important for the academic community to thoroughly investigate the impact of geopolitical forces on MNEs’ performance and strategies. Such effort will help MNEs understand that it is critical for them to develop deep insights on the dynamics of the geopolitical environment and devise effective strategies accordingly. To achieve this goal, the Journal of Humanities and Applied Social Science (JHAS) is pleased to announce a special issue on this topic.  

The focus of the special issue is on empirical and theoretical work that assesses the impact of geopolitical factors on MNEs’ strategies and performance and examines the effective geopolitical strategies pursued by MNEs from both the developed and developing worlds. Specific topics of interest include, but are not limited to, the following: 

  1. The nature, dimensions, and objectives of geopolitical strategies for MNEs
  2. Process and framework for developing and evaluating geopolitical strategies
  3. Impact of geopolitical strategies on MNEs’ overall performance
  4. Key factors driving the success of geopolitical strategies for MNEs
  5. Differences in the impact of geopolitical forces on the performance of state-owned enterprises (SOE) and private enterprises
  6. Differences in geopolitical strategies pursued by MNEs from developed and developing markets  
  7. Establishing mechanisms for gathering and analyzing geopolitical information within MNEs
  8. Organizational capabilities required to pursue geopolitical strategies effectively

Submissions Information

To be considered for inclusion in the special issue of JHASS, a complete version of the paper must be submitted through .

Guest Editors:

Eden Yin, Judge Business School, University of Cambridge, email: [email protected]

Abeer A. Mahrous, Faculty of Commerce, Cairo University, email: [email protected]

Key Deadlines

Submissions opening date: Sep. 1st. 2022

Submissions close date: May 31st. 2023\

Email for submissions information: [email protected]


Lubinski, Christina and Rohit D. Wadhwani (2019), Geopolitical jockeying: economic nationalism and multinational strategy in historical perspective, Strategic Management Journal, 2019, 1-22

Dunning, J. H. (1977), Trade, location of economic activity and the MNE: a search for an eclectiv approach. In P.O. Hesselborn, B. Ohlin and P.M. Wijkman (Eds.), The international allocation of economic activity. London, England: Palgrave Macmillan.

Hymer, S. H. (1976), The international operations of national firms: a study of direct foreign investment. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Vernon, R. (1998). In the hurricane’s eye: the troubled perspectives of multinational enterprises. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Kobrin, S. J. (1982), Managing political risk assessment: strategic response to environmental change. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.

Henisz, W. J. (2016). The dynamic capability of corporate diplomacy. Global Strategy Journal, 6(3), 183-196.

Dorobantu, S., Henisz, W.J., and Nartey, L. (2017). Not all sparks light a firm: stakeholder and shareholder reactions to critical events in contested markets, Administrative Science Quarterly, 62(3), 561-597.

Shi, Wei, Robert E. Hoskisson, and Yan Anthea Zhang, (2016), A geopolitical perspective into the opposition to globalization state-owned enterprises in target states, Global Strategy Journal, 6: 13-30.