In its annual report, political risk research and consulting firm Eurasia Group recently identified the top geopolitical trends and stress points facing the world in 2019. While acknowledging that the current geopolitical environment is quite volatile, the advisory's overall outlook is cautiously optimistic. "The political risk outlook for 2019 is reasonably good. But nearly all of the geopolitical developments that matter are now trending in the wrong direction," said Eurasia Group President Ian Bremmer. "That's unprecedented in my lifetime. These issues, if left unaddressed, will lead to big trouble down the road. This is geopolitical climate change." Eurasia Group's top ten political risks for 2019 are:
As world leaders focus more attention on domestic concerns, "bad seeds" are being planted that could erode geopolitical dynamics and threaten global order in the future, such as increasingly fractured U.S. political institutions, rifts in the European Union, the weakening of global alliances, and the rise of populism and nationalism.
UNITED STATES/CHINA RELATIONS
Disagreements between the United States and China on issues like trade and intellectual property protection have increased tensions between the two nations that may not be easily resolved.
CYBER GLOVES OFF
As hackers have become more sophisticated in their attacks, the U.S. government will begin conducting more aggressive deterrence measures, which could have unforeseen consequences.
With populists expected to gain seats in the European Parliament after the May elections, the EU will likely find it harder to build consensus on key policy issues like migration, trade, and the rule of law, and internal disagreements may disrupt its ability to react quickly to crises.
THE UNITED STATES AT HOME
Infighting in Washington will be especially intense in 2019 as President Trump squares off against opposition Democrats amid a growing number of investigations into his administration and business dealings, leading to potential...