Eurasia Group shares the top risks for 2018.
2018 has arrived, and it comes with a divided civil society and liberal democracies with less legitimacy than ever.
With the coming of Donald Trump as President of the United States, the future looks closer to a geopolitical depression than to a reversion to past stability.
Today, we come across torn common values and a world that has forsaken leadership.
As we prepare for a the decline of US influence across the world and a year where economic and political liberalism face a crisis of credibility, Eurasia Group shares the top risks to look out for this year.
China and U.S. lead the change of new technology
The U.S. and China lead the charge on investment in new technology— particularly in artificial intelligence (AI).
While the U.S. leads the private sector, China does so from the state by aligning with the country’s most powerful institutions.
China aims to lead the global business environment as it must adapt to a whole new set of standards, rules and practices set by Chinese leaders, raising the cost of business practices.
Despite the domestic challenges and complicated world order perceived, China´s political model is seen as strong as ever now that it is setting international standards with less resistance than before.
The U.S., on the other hand, is in need of a structural political reform to aspire for a stronger business model and a better adaptation towards automation.
A world in crisis
Attacks have ignited crisis like never before in the geopolitical order.
According to the index, the likelihood of geopolitical accidents have risen significantly, and that will continue.
Cyber-attacks can turn out to be a big inconvenient for 2018, as not-updated norms, standards, and web architecture have complicated the capacity to respond to a cybercrime.
In the digital future, a takedown of the internet´s infrastructure or the incapacity to respond to attacks can create a destruction of transparency that cripples leading corporations, banks and marketplaces.
North Korea | Russia | U.S., what to expect?
By launching ballistic missile tests, North Korea has set itself as public enemy #1 for many sectors and main actor for tensions on the rise.
Escalatory responses can be seen during 2018, accompanied with elevated tensions combined with less trust/coordination among all actors, especially the U.S., Russia and the Korean side.
The possibility of war, meaning a severe risk and damage to a key US ally and impact global supply chains, remains unlikely, according to the Eurasia report.
On other ends of the world, the war in Syria will continue to wind down, while plenty of Kremlin dirty laundry will be aired in between openly hostile relations between the U.S. and Russia.
The technology war
Data and technology are big players in 2018.
As the pace of technological breakthroughs accelerates, the convergence of AI, the use of big data, and ultra-fast networks will be crucial for anyone that wishes to lead the digital adoption market, dominating economically and geopolitically.
The U.S. has invested in hiring only the best talents to work in technological platforms, however, China invests in its homegrown research and hardware sectors, training technologists that can give the country a considerable lead in the industry.
China and the U.S. have engaged in a global competition to be the lead technology supplier for various of their international partners as the world watches and struggle for market dominance continues to rage in third-party countries.
The fight to be the leader in technology supply will be won in civilian infrastructure (from fiber-optic cabling to cloud storage), consumer goods (putting next generation smartphones in every hand), and in government procurement and security equipment through data.
Eurasia Group report
For more than 20 years, the world’s largest political risk consultancy, Eurasia Group, has worked on defining the business of politics through its reports.
In them, the world´s political challenges and global environment is estimated for a better understanding of what happens in the world we live in.
Sadly, Eurasia anticipates that if there is a time for a big unexpected crisis —considering the geopolitical equivalent of the 2008 financial meltdown— it feels like it´s going to be in 2018.
You can see the rest of the report here, where future for Mexico, the U.S. and Iran relations, as well as the United Kingdom expectations are highlighted.