Every year, Eurasia Group puts out their Top Risks report, and the world pays attention – from Wall Street to Washington. Here is their ranking for the top risks facing the world in 2018.
Eurasia Group released its predictions for the biggest global risks in 2018 Here’s what to watch for in the geopolitical landscape this year.
10: Security in Africa
Instability in less-developed countries like Somalia and Mali will spill over into Africa’s core countries. Dangers from the terror groups like al-Shabab will intensify. Increased security costs will hurt countries like Kenya and Nigeria.
9: Identity politics in Southern Asia
Islamism, anti-Chinese sentiments, and intensifying nationalism in India are leading to a rise of populism. Persecution of Muslim Rohingya has triggered a humanitarian crisis. Prime Minister Modi’s use of Hindu Nationalism in the 2019 election could give cover to radicalized elements of society.
8: United Kingdom
Brexit negotiations could lead to endless fights. It could also cost Prime Minister Theresa May her job. Her potential replacement could complicate Brexit talks even further.
7: Protectionism 2.0
Anti-establishment movements have led to proposals of border walls and metaphorical walls in the global economy. Policy makers are now forced to work more on “behind-the-border” measures like bailouts, subsidies, and “buy local” requirements. Protectionism 2.0 creates barriers in the digital economy and in blue-collar industries as well.
6: The erosion of institutions
Institutions like governments, the courts, political parties, and the media continue to lose public credibility. Anti-establishment populism could lead to political turmoil and authoritarianism in some countries.
5: US-Iran relations
Trump will support Saudi Arabia to contain Iran in other countries like Syria and Yemen. Iran will push back against more sanctions from the US. If the Iran Nuclear Deal can’t hold, Iran will ramp up its nuclear program, creating another threat to the US and Israel.
Uncertainty over NAFTA could harm Mexico’s economy and play a major role in the country’s election. Voter frustration over corruption, drug gangs, and slow growth could lead to a new president. Obrador could break with previous investor-friendly economic policies.
3: Global tech cold war
US and China will compete to master artificial intelligence and supercomputing. Both countries will struggle for market dominance all around the world. Fragmentation of the tech companies could lead to major market and security risks.
While there hasn’t been a major geopolitical crisis since 9/11, there are many places where a misstep could lead to serious conflict. The likeliest risks: Conflict in cyberspace, fighting over North Korea, battlefield accidents in Syria, US-Russia tension and dispersal of ISIS fighters.
1: China loves a vacuum
China has developed the most effective global trade and investment strategy. It uses Chinese tech companies to advance state interests and has extended its influence in other countries that are now more likely to align and imitate it. A US-China conflict on trade will become more likely this year.