Filter by region
In many parts of the world, the outlook for political stability in 2018 will depend on aging, often long-serving politicians. Some are senescent leaders trying to manage a generational transition, others have caught their second wind and are bracing for a long run. Here is a short list of rulers who are losing their grip, handling tricky successions, or building their legacies with a late burst of vigor. They are a key human element in geopolitics.
Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos is stepping down after 38 years in office – one of Africa’s rare elder statesmen who relinquishes power voluntarily. His designated successor, Joao Lourenco, handily won a surprisingly peaceful general election. Now he must balance factions in the ruling party, the needs of an increasingly restive urban populace, and the imperative of diversifying Angola’s oil-dependent economy.
Anonymous GIS Expert
Hassan Rouhani’s reelection
as Iran’s president was greeted with euphoria by his reform-minded supporters,
but has only sharpened divisions in a deeply polarized country. Supreme leader
Ayatollah Khamenei may be frail and ailing, but he still dominates the Islamic
Republic, and his conservative supporters are well-positioned to steer any
succession. The new U.S. administration’s attempts to isolate Iran will only
Dr. Udo Steinbach