"Risk Rules" Presented by Marvin Zonis

Business Book Roundtable

April 25, 2011: 6:00 PM - 8:30 PM

Professor Marvin Zonis presents "Risk Rules: How Local Politics Threaten the Global Economy."


Gleacher Center
Room 600
450 North Cityfront Plaza Drive
Chicago, Illinois


Parking: Chicago Booth has arranged with AMC Theater-River East Self-parking garage to provide discounted parking:

300 East Illinois Street (AMC Theater-River East Self-park garage)

$6 after 3 pm

Garage: Self-park facility

Payment: Automated; at pay stations by cash or credit card or upon exit pay by credit card only.

To receive discounted rate: There is a card validator at the first floor security desk of the Gleacher Center. The new system for the AMC Theater-River East Self-Park Garage is automated. You will only need to insert your parking card in the validator and the new price will be automatically applied. You can validate your parking ticket at any time between your arrival at and departure from the Gleacher Center. When you leave the lot you will be charged for the lower $6 fee.

Detailed Directions: Garage is located next to PJ Clarks and below the AMC Theater. When traveling east on Illinois cross over Columbus and enter the Garage on the left (north) side of the street. If driving west on Grand (north of Theater), you can enter the garage 1/2 block before Columbus on the left (south) side of the street.

Event Details

Risk Rules is a comprehensive updating of the author's critically praised The Kimchi Matters (Agate B2, 2005). The authors, a group of present and former University of Chicago political risk experts, return discussion of globalization and international relations to first principles. Globalization hype has obscured a few basic truths -- that political stability and economic growth are usually determined on the local level, and that they're most affected by local institutions, leadership, corruption, and other such factors. Risk Rules shows that globalization (and events like the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the September 11 attacks) makes understanding the political economies of distant countries more important than ever.

Time and again, investors and foreign policymakers have been hurt because they haven't understood the unique local dynamics at work in a particular country or region. This truth holds for companies venturing abroad and for policymakers contemplating foreign challenges, and no less for small investors, voters, and others whose lives and finances are increasingly affected by distant world events. Risk Rules lays out an intuitive framework for making sense of international economic and poiltical developments, whether negative (why markets in Argentina collapsed; why Russia stumbled, then rebounded, then stumbled again; why U.S. allies Saudi Arabia and Pakistan became sources of international terrorism and instability) or positive (why Singapore and Botswana, to name just two, became unlikely success stories).

Each of the book's fifteen main principles is illustrated with numerous contemporary examples from around the world, which have been thoroughly updated since the book's first edition. Readers should gain an understanding of what transpired in the globalization boom, why things did not work out as planned, and how they might be made to work better in the future. Understanding and forecasting local political dynamics is essential, as these increasingly drive global markets and determine the stability and safety of our world.

For additional information:


Price is TBD. Book is not included but will be for sale at the event.


Register Online
Please register online by Friday, April 22, to ensure available seating.

Deadline: 4/22/2011


6:00 PM-6:45 PM: Reception and Networking (Appetizers and Cash Bar)

6:45 PM-8:00 PM: Professor Zonis' Presentation followed by Q&A and Discussion

8:00 PM-8:30 PM: Continued Discussion and Networking

Speaker Profiles

Marvin Zonis (Speaker)
Professor Emeritus of Business Administration, University of Chicago Booth School of Business

Marvin Zonis was the first professor at Chicago Booth to teach a course on the effects of digital technologies on global business. He also consults to corporations and professional asset management firms throughout the world, helping them to identify, assess, and manage their political risks in the changing global environment.

Professor Zonis is a cofounder and chairman of DSD, a software development company based in Moscow and Chicago. He is a member of the board of directors for several technology-based companies, including Go2Call and CNA Financial. He has written extensively on globalization, digital technologies, emerging markets, Middle Eastern politics, the oil industry, Russia, and U.S. foreign policy.

A leading authority on the Middle East, Zonis has spent the last 40 years studying the volatile mix of Islam, terrorism, and the Middle East. He is the former director of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Chicago. He has lived in Iran, hitchhiked through Afghanistan in the 1960s, studied Islam in Iraq beginning in 1964, and has traveled extensively throughout other parts of the region.

His writings have been published, among other places, in the Financial Times, the New York Times, the International Herald Tribune, and the Japanese journal Nikkei Weekly. His books include The Kimchi Matters: Global Business and Local Politics in a Crisis Driven World, The Eastern European Opportunity, and The Political Elite of Iran. He also has appeared on various programs, including Nightline, and CNN's Larry King Live and is interviewed regularly on National Public Radio. Zonis is the international editor of WBBM-TV, Chicago, and was the Middle East Consultant to ABC/Capital Cities television.

Professor Zonis shows his students an appreciation for the importance of the role of emotions in business and the need to listen to and understand others. He tries to teach a number of soft skills to round out his students' educations. "The challenge for me," says Zonis, "is to keep the students engaged while they learn these new skills and appreciate their significance to their futures and the future of their firms."

He was educated at Yale University, the Harvard Business School, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he received a PhD in political science in 1968, and the Institute for Psychoanalysis, Chicago, where he received psychoanalytic training.


Dana Damyen, '02 
Principal, TwoRoads Solutions

Other Information

Business or business casual attire requested. Presentation starts promptly at 6:45 pm.