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.
The limited global impact of Trump’s ‘America First’ energy policies
Coal is back in the U.S., with production and exports rising. This has coincided with a President Donald Trump’s “America First” policies in the energy sector. But coal’s comeback is more a function of market forces than politics. And it could be short-lived. Despite all the sound and fury, Mr. Trump's initiatives to support fossil fuels will have far less of an impact on energy markets and global efforts to reduce climate change than his critics claim. Europe, however, could still benefit.
The contours of a future Middle East emerge
Events are moving fast in the Middle East. The hoped-for rapprochement between Russia and the U.S. that could bring an end to the war in Syria appears to have collapsed. Growing tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia could spark a war at any moment. But the most explosive issue for this region of minorities is the prospect of independence for Iraqi Kurdistan.
Opinion: Putting Europe back on track
These days, it is easy to forget that European integration is a huge success. The founders were right that the free movement of goods and people would bind the continent together and promote peace. But national governments and centralizing democrats have spoiled a good idea through their own timidity and ambition. If the European Union is to play a global role, it must return to its roots.
In Chile, stagnation and stasis despite shifting politics
The old party coalitions are breaking down in Chile, while new rules could shake up congressional representation. With the economy stuck in low gear, voters are frustrated. But despite all this, the country looks likely to elect a familiar face in November – former President Sebastian Pinera. If he wins, it will mark unprecedented stasis in Chilean politics since the end of the Pinochet dictatorship.
GIS Dossier: Europe’s migration impasse
The steady flow of migrants from the Middle East and Africa suddenly exploded in 2015 into the greatest crisis of its kind in Europe since World War II. How this happened and what the EU and national governments ought to do about it is examined in this survey of work by GIS experts.
Taiwan’s fate tied to Tsai’s New Southbound Policy
Now that Taiwan has elected a president from a party that has no desire for Chinese unification, Beijing is stepping up pressure on the island, keeping it out of international organizations and stealing away allies. President Tsai Ing-wen’s New Southbound Policy aims to counter those moves by strengthening economic ties and the country’s soft-power tools. Its failure could erode the pillars upon which Taiwan’s independence is built.
The many faces of Rosneft
Over the past decade or so, Russian oil giant Rosneft has concluded some eye-popping deals and more than doubled production. But its rapid growth has been based on questionable deals and huge debts. Behind the scenes, its CEO, Igor Sechin, has mastered Kremlin power plays. But his circle of enemies is growing. The future of Russia’s oil industry will hinge on how far he continues to push the envelope and whether Rosneft can overcome the legacy he has built.
Mexico’s future in the balance
Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto has astutely managed the threats to his country posed by the new administration in Washington. Even so, the progress that he has made on key domestic fronts may prove too modest to defeat the left-wing challenge from Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador during next year’s elections.
Will education let Africa reap its demographic dividend?
With nearly 40 percent of its population under the age of 18, Africa is the youngest continent in the world. This expanding work-age population should bring higher productivity, increased consumption and faster growth. But turning this workforce into an economic asset will require ending the mismatch between educational outcomes and market needs.