Western influence on the wane as geopolitical dealignment increases

Western nations’ influence across the world is decreasing as countries look to plot their own course according to new research.

Against a backdrop of the war in Ukraine, the latest Political Risk Index, by broker WTW and Oxford Analytica warns shifting geopolitical alignments are dividing the globe into opposing blocs.

The survey found that the Western bloc has lost ground in all world regions. Five years ago, 30 of the WTW Political Risk Index countries were in the Western Bloc with 13 of these countries strongly allied to the West. This year’s report found only six countries or territories in the Index rate as strong Western allies (including Jordan, Mexico, Qatar and Taiwan). Meanwhile, seven are rated as leaning strongly East, including Belarus, China, Mali, Myanmar and Russia.

Sam Wilkin, director of Political Risk Analytics, WTW, said “The findings suggest that countries such as Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Cameroon, and Uganda are ‘dealigning’ from the West. The West’s declining influence in the emerging world will create yet more risks for globalized business.”

The report found that in countries that shifted East , from neutrality or a Western alignment, over the past five years, on average, expropriation risks rose by 7%, economic freedom declined by 4%, and political rights fell by 10%.

In “dealigning” countries, each of these risk indicators also worsened, and the dealignment trend is impacting more countries. These rising risks in part reflect the declining influence of the US and its allies.

The countries and territories were selected for inclusion in the Index based on volumes of foreign investment and levels of political risk.

Of the 61 countries rated in the year’s report of the major economies in the emerging world, 25 lean West, towards the US and/or Europe, 18 lean East, opposing the Western powers on many key issues; and another 18 are attempting to remain neutral.