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.
Carlos Ghosn and the rigor of the Japanese state
The surprise arrest of Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn is superficially a tale of personal greed and clashing corporate cultures. But drill deeper and the more significant takeaway is what the case reveals about the Japanese approach to law and the power of the state. That is why Mr. Ghosn’s fate could have an impact on Japan’s international standing and foreign investors.
GIS Dossier: Governance in Africa, the case of three countries
Three sub-Saharan African countries, all with decades-long, devastating civil wars behind them. Two are populous and large, well-endowed in natural riches, while one is a small, landlocked nation with no particular resources. Which one is Africa’s poster child of economic and developmental success today? This GIS Dossier examines why the longtime leaders of these three countries delivered such widely differing results for their societies.
India decides on force to break a pointless cycle
The latest round of fighting on the India-Pakistan border reveals a changed mood in New Delhi. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision to order an air strike deep inside Pakistan in reprisal for a terrorist attack is evidence of a more muscular policy taking shape. If Mr. Modi is reelected in a few months, it can be assumed that India will be brandishing a bigger stick at its Western neighbor.
Integrating a half-empty Balkans into the EU
Citizens of the Western Balkans are entering the European Union much faster than their countries. As a result, the region’s depopulation is accelerating, driven by high unemployment, poor governance, rampant corruption, rising crime and unclear prospects for the future. The most desired destination is Germany, which welcomes emigrants as a much-needed supplement to its workforce. However, the geopolitical consequences of a half-empty Balkans may be disturbing.
Corruption in Africa: trends and scenarios
Sub-Saharan Africa is, according to some measures, the world's most corrupt region. But the picture is decidedly mixed. Some countries have made great strides in fighting graft, while others will remain mired in corrupt systems for years to come. Democratic institutions are an important factor, but so is economic freedom. As access to information makes officials' corrupt practices increasingly visible, what is the outlook for these countries, as their people strive for a fairer shot?
Ecuador picks up the pieces
Ecuador is a small country that embodies many of Latin America’s problems in miniature. Overdependence on commodity exports and Chinese loans, unsustainable public finances, poverty, corruption, crime, refugees and tensions with the U.S. are just a few items on the list. Most of all, its minority government must clean up after former President Rafael Correa’s failed “Citizens’ Revolution,” trying to build sound institutions on a legacy of personalistic governance.
Opinion: The overhauled but directionless Franco-German tandem
When French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel signed a new Franco-German treaty in Charlemagne’s old imperial capital of Aachen earlier this year, the outcome was underwhelming. The ambitious goals that were set also seem entirely unrealistic, given the countries’ increasing divergence on policy. That means fears of a dominant Franco-German tandem in the EU are unfounded, but so are hopes that it will lead the bloc out of its current doldrums.
GIS Dossier: Vietnam defends its independence
Vietnam, with its more than 3,400-kilometer coastline on the South China Sea, its growing economy and its large military, is a linchpin of Southeast Asia. It also lies at the crux of global powers’ interests in the region. So far, it has managed to maximize its independence, but rapidly changing geopolitical dynamics in the region threaten to undermine its strategy. This Dossier reviews GIS experts’ analysis of and predictions for this emerging regional leader.
President El-Sisi’s Egypt: Quietly rebuilding economic strength
Following his 2013 coup d’etat that was sternly criticized in Washington and European capitals, Egypt’s former defense minister, Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, was elected the country’s president by an overwhelming margin. After five years in charge of the most populous Arab country, Mr. El-Sisi has accumulated a predictably shoddy record on human rights but a surprisingly strong one as an economic reformer and agent of stability in the turbulent region.
Opinion: Venezuela’s endless endgame
Bankrupt and in an economic freefall, Venezuela has become the scene of a humanitarian drama. The opposition is finally unified and appears close to being able to push the die-hard Chavista regime out. Much of the outside world, including Latin America, Europe and the United States, is eager to help, but the devil, as always, is in the detail.