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.
Is the U.S. going back to the Western Balkans?
The United States is increasing its engagement with the Western Balkans on issues including security, energy and good governance. The administration is trying to reduce instability in the region, improve economic development and counter outside influence from countries like Russia and China. If these efforts are successful, U.S. capital investment will increase and the Balkans will move closer toward NATO membership.
Opinion: Russia returns to Africa
Russia is making a big push for closer ties with African countries. It aims to gain access to energy resources and in return offers military support and arms sales. Its goals are not only economic, however. It wants to show its people and the world that it is still a global power, as well as challenge the U.S., Europe and China as they make their own inroads on the continent.
Modi’s economy faces the voters
The Modi government in India enters the last year of its term with mixed economic results. The prime minister has moderated inflation and carried out important reforms, but growth remains slow and many Indians are pessimistic about their financial situation. With elections coming next April and several external threats on the horizon, a second term for Narendra Modi is in doubt.
GIS Dossier: Europe as a global player – looking east
Europe is politically diffuse and poorly armed for a great power at a geopolitical crossroads. Yet it has proved deceptively capable of leveraging the NATO alliance and its enormous economic “soft power” to expand eastward. Now its mettle is being tested as Russia – and, to a lesser extent, Turkey – push back.
German exports slow down: Should Europe celebrate?
Those European leaders who like to complain about the ongoing trade surpluses of the German economy should not celebrate the recent slowdown in Germany’s exports and GDP growth. Higher labor costs and tensions in international trade may cause trouble for German exporters, but they are already investing in new production facilities in low-cost countries. If German exports slow down, their market share might be taken by German producers outside of Germany, while the productivity gap between Germany and the rest of Europe will widen.
Border conflicts in the Balkans
Nearly three decades after the breakup of Yugoslavia, the borders in the Balkans are still up for debate. Eight unresolved border disputes are dividing countries in the region, pitting European Union and NATO members against each other and threatening the integration of several EU candidates. Some of these disputes will likely last for years to come, as the enmity of past conflicts gets in the way of negotiations.
Opinion: Can the North Korean leopard change its spots?
The June 12, 2018, Singapore summit between the president of the United States and North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un was better than the alternative – a potentially catastrophic outcome of belligerent rhetoric between two nuclear-armed states. A great deal will depend on what has been agreed in that other, less reported, North Korean summit – the one between China’s President Xi Jinping and Mr. Kim. For the West, though, the ultimate success hinges on keeping a focus on human rights as an essential part of the process.
Cameroon’s ‘anglophone crisis’ offers a bleak outlook
In Cameroon’s English-speaking regions, forces advocating secession from the rest of the country are gaining clout. Violent clashes are increasing, dragging down the country’s economy and displacing thousands of people. President Paul Biya, now Africa’s longest-serving leader, is still likely to win a seventh term in office this year, but his eroding legitimacy will make it even more difficult to bring stability back.
A powerful new president in Mexico
Swept into office by an overwhelming electoral victory last month, Mexican President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador will take office with a degree of power not seen in decades. He has prioritized several issue areas, including poverty, corruption and negotiations over NAFTA, but his specific policy agenda remains unclear. The new Mexican leader's success will depend on balancing decisive action with healthy restraints on presidential power
Russia’s ‘food superpower’ vision: opportunities and pitfalls
After harboring visions of becoming an economic and energy superpower, Russia now wants agriculture to fuel its rise. In recent years, its production of grains, especially wheat, has rocketed. But absorbing the increase, whether through domestic consumption or through exports, poses some big challenges. And even if it overcomes those, Russia’s agriculture sector is likely to remain dependent on unprocessed products.