Unsurprisingly, China’s global leadership and the legitimacy of technocratic/bureaucratic institutions are some of the top geopolitical risks to global order in 2018, according to a study recently completed by Eurasia Group.
“China loves a vacuum” has been ranked No. 1 (or topmost) on the list of top 10 geopolitical risks for 2018, followed by “accidents” and “Global Tech Cold War.”
The 2018 rankings placed “Mexico” in fourth ahead of the “U.S.-Iran relations” into fifth; while the “erosions of institutions” ranked sixth, and “Protectionism 2.0” seventh.
Overall, among the top 10 geopolitical risks for 2018, the eighth, ninth, and tenth positions are held by the “United Kingdom,” “Identity politics in southern Asia,” and Africa’s security .
Top 10 Biggest Geopolitical Risks To Global Order In 2018
- China loves a vacuum – a powerful and modern China filling a global leadership vacuum. “China is setting international standards [on trade and investment, tech, values, and security] with less resistance than ever before.”
- Accidents – an accident that could spark a larger conflict. “It’s impossible to ignore the risk of a major crisis today, because there are too many places where a misstep or misjudgment could provoke serious international conflict.”
- Global tech Cold War – Eurasia Group’s report notes that “the world’s biggest fight over economic power centers on the development of new information technologies,” like artificial intelligence and supercomputing.
Ian Bremmer, president and founder of Eurasia Group, and Eurasia Group Chairman Cliff Kupchan write that the US and China will vie for dominance in this regard, and will try to dominate the markets, specifically in Africa, India, Brazil, and Europe.
- Mexico – A country plagued by corruption, violence in its struggle against gangs and drug cartels, and slow economic growth. 2018 will be a defining year for Mexico.
- U.S.-Iran relations
- The erosions of institutions – “Conflict will become more frequent, decision-making degraded, and internal chaos common.”
- Protectionism 2.0 – Eurasia Group fears that politicians will be forced by voters “to shift toward a more zero-sum approach to global economic competition and to look as if they’re doing something about lost jobs.”
- United Kingdom – “2017 may not have been fun for the UK,” Bremmer and Kupchan write. “2018 will be worse.”
- Identity politics in southern Asia
- Africa’s security
The Eurasia Group report worries that 2018 will see a spillover of violence from Africa’s “unstable periphery” (Mali, South Sudan, and Somalia), into the core countries of Africa — Cote d’Ivoire, Nigeria, Kenya, and Ethiopia.