The core expertise of Shadow Governance Intel is in assessing the unwritten rules that shape how politics and business are conducted in emerging and frontier markets, and how elite networks with vested interests implement these informal manoeuvrings.

Shadow Governance Intel eschews the traditional approach to traditional country and political risk analysis, which assumes that the intersection of politics and economics produces risks that are unpredictable and uncontrollable. The bottom-up approach of Shadow Governance Intel demonstrates that an understanding of informal networks of power and informal mechanisms of power provides previously unavailable levels of transparency in the political and commercial environment of emerging and frontier markets.

In other words, we look at the groups and individuals that influence a market, and assess the means through which they exercise their authority.

More specifically, Shadow Governance Intel focuses on:

  • Political stability from the perspective of how Power Players maintain the status quo, or how they influence political and/or commercial change. Shadow Governance Intel monitors where political power is truly held, how political decisions are really made, and the dynamics that define the relationship between politics and business.
  • Power Players, political and commercial, are identified and profiled. In addition to building an understanding of their backgrounds, Shadow Governance Intel investigates their interests, relationships, and where their influence is exerted.
  • Power Plays, or the tools used by Power Players to exert their influence over political decisions or commercial transactions. For example, Shadow Governance Intel identifies where the political and legal framework are ambiguous, and thus where they can be manipulated; how different types of intimidation are exerted; and, how systems of patronage are used to uphold elite interests.


The Shadow Governance methodology is comprehensive and structured, and provides analysis that empowers our members to navigate seemingly opaque markets to their benefit.

Get in touch for a demonstration of how your organisation can benefit from gaining previously unavailable transparency on emerging and frontier markets.