Whether you’re a political junkie or an entrepreneur, keeping your eye on international affairs is a key component to making good decisions. Staying informed about the direction the global political and economic winds are blowing can help you to avoid blunders and plan for the future. As we enter into a new year these are the eight international relations trends that you should keep an eye on.
- Political Instability
All across the world, we see protests and protest movements gaining momentum and creating a worrying atmosphere. The issues that drive political unrest are as varied and unique as the nations themselves. Whether they are a response to growing economic anxiety or years of lack of just and effective leadership from their governments, they disrupt daily life and make diplomatic objectives harder to achieve.
Trade wars and sanctions have a choking effect on diplomatic relations and yet they seem to be one of the favorite tools of the current U.S. administration with other nations responding in kind. It could be that this type of policy shift becomes the new normal in international relations for 2020.
- Trade Disputes
Not all economic issues are the result of sanctions. There are a number of trade disputes that are currently unresolved.
- Less Support for Democracy
The current administration has made a sharp departure from supporting the cause of democracy abroad to supporting whichever regimes benefit their objections in the most expedient manners. This turn away from principled diplomacy is one to watch as it eases the pressure on foreign powers that are often hostile to democratic norms and the rule of law.
- Escalation of Right-Wing Terror
Fifteen of the last seventeen acts of terror in the United States were carried out by right-wing extremists. The U.S. intelligence officials have been reporting for years on the rise in right-wing nationalism and their potential for violence. This trend isn’t limited to the United States. Particularly in Europe, we are seeing a resurgence of right-wing nationalism that could take violent forms.
- Fewer People Working on Terror
There has been a noted decrease in the number of military personnel devoted to fighting terror on the ground. That doesn’t mean there has been a drop in military personnel working and fighting abroad. It simply means that the objectives of their mission and the methods of fighting terror have shifted in recent years.
- The End of the Combustion Engine
Governments all across the developed world are making pledges to phase out the production and sale of traditional cars in favor of hybrids and electric cars. This response to climate change will also fuel further research into alternative energy sources.
China is pouring enormous capital into developing critical technologies for the future. While it’s not too late for the United States to catch up, it will make China more of a force to be reckoned with. In both politics and technology, China is poised to shake up the playing field in meaningful ways.