Summary of Opportunities Amid Disorder

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Looking back at the year 2017, a report by the European Council on Foreign Relations, a pan-European think tank, concludes: “It could have been worse.” Yes, liberal internationalism prevailed against the odds, but will this trend hold going forward? According to the report, much hinges upon US foreign policy decisions, including whether the Trump administration chooses to escalate tensions with North Korea. While predictions are notoriously inaccurate, the report provides a valuable overview of the major events, leaders and trends that will influence international politics in the year to come.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How US President Trump's administration could derail world economic growth, and
  • Why EU unity could flourish in 2018.
 

About the Authors

The European Council on Foreign Relations is a pan-European think tank with offices in seven European capitals.

 

Summary

The world economy promises to do well in 2018, with the International Monetary Fund predicting a 3.7% rise in global GDP. Political upheavals, however, could dampen the positive economic outlook. While the nuclear crisis in North Korea may seem the most dangerous flashpoint, interstate tensions could flare up in many different parts of the world. Conflicts in the Middle East – like those in Yemen and Syria – and simmering disputes in sub-Saharan Africa and Ukraine all have the potential to evolve into all-out war or to trigger a humanitarian crisis. Jihadist groups continue to pose a security threat throughout the Sahel and southeast Asia, and ISIS insurgents remain active in Syria and Iraq.

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