Elections, coups, international relations, social movements, emerging states and influencers. Here find forecasts and potential scenarios for political trends from Geopolitical Intelligence Services (GIS) global experts.
Global Outlook 2017: China’s rocky year
The election of Donald Trump in the United States brings with it a great deal of uncertainty for China and its leaders. It could face the threat of a trade war, and diplomatic challenges regarding Taiwan and the South China Sea. However, as Washington takes a more isolationist stance, 2017 will also offer China the opportunity to fill the vacuum.
European elections – expect the unexpected
European governments and leaders in Brussels would be wise to brace for political shocks in this year’s elections. This is a moment in history when polls tend to mislead and the unthinkable can happen, deeply upsetting the established order. The time for making contingency plans is now.
The U.S. and China’s ‘free trade’ agendas
The United States and China are not true champions of free trade. Beijing pushes exports but effectively curbs imports through a maze of administrative obstacles. Washington traditionally concentrates on job protection and creation; its trade policies reflect these priorities.
The Black Sea: the EU’s neglected new frontier
The countries of the Black Sea region have had their fair share of conflict throughout history. Instability remains an issue, but all the countries in the area understand the benefits of economic cooperation and have built institutions to facilitate it. The main questions are whether Russia considers such collaboration a threat, whether Turkey can halt migration through the region and whether the EU will reengage.
Global Outlook 2017: Prospects for Xi Jinping
Chinese President Xi Jinping has consolidated his power and now is pushing to make a lasting impact, including by changing the rules to remain in office for a third term. It looks likely that he will achieve his goals, but plenty of obstacles still stand in his way. Expect him to emphasize ideology over practical economics. If his efforts stall, he may turn to the military for support.
Chile’s election will hinge on economy
After months of sluggish growth and political stagnation, Chileans want a fresh face to lead them. But so far, only well-known establishment figures have thrown their hats in the ring for Chile’s presidential election this year. For now, conservative former President Sebastian Pinera is the current front-runner. However, if commodity prices rise and boost the economy, the left could maintain its grip on power.
Tunisia’s fragile transition
Tunisia’s fledgling democracy is on the right track, but social unrest, terrorism and a wobbly economy threaten its progress. Economic reforms to encourage investment – especially in oil and gas – would go a long way toward stabilizing the country, providing both jobs and government income.
Crisis in the DRC
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has been one of Africa’s most troubled states since it won independence from Belgium in 1960. Perhaps fittingly, its latest crisis was defused by a last-minute agreement on New Year’s Eve between President Joseph Kabila and the opposition. Will it last?
Global Outlook 2017: Brazil’s improving odds of pulling itself out of crisis
Brazil’s President Michel Temer has received a strong political shot in the arm with the February election of his loyalists to key positions in the legislature. Even if Mr. Temer’s ambitious reform agenda becomes watered down during the inevitable bargaining with the opposition parties, the measures, if passed, should suffice to put the country on track for moderate growth.