Political risk must-reads

By Ian Bremmer
December 14, 2012

Eurasia Group just started posting our favorite political risk articles of the week on Foreign Policy, which I’d like to share here as well.  As always, feel free to give us your feedback or selections @EurasiaGroup or @IanBremmer. This is being reprinted from ForeignPolicy.com.

Must-Reads

1. “Why the Reset Should Be Reset
Thomas E. Graham and Dmitri Trenin, New York Times

In light of Vladimir Putin’s State of the Union address on Wednesday, a speech which signaled more of the same on the home front, it’s worth tracking the shifting dynamic between Russia and the United States. With relations deteriorating, is a grander “longer-term strategic framework” out of the question?

2. “For Better Planning, Watch Global Demographic Trends
Joseph Chamie, Yale Global

In a world of economic uncertainty, some demographic trends hold predictive power. Here are seven of them.

3. “Saudi Arabia Makes Big Bet On Solar
Danny Kennedy, Forbes

Saudi Arabia’s $100 billion investment is merely a launching point for an interesting wider treatment of the viability of solar power from an investment standpoint.

4. “Millions in Ransoms Fuel Militants’ Clout in West Africa
Adam Nossiter, New York Times

Mali has been all over the news this week, with discussion of the best response to extremist control of the northern part of the country. France put forward a plan, and US ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice dismissed it as “crap.” Add the lucrative kidnappings that al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb has been conducting over the past decade and we’re left with an increasingly toxic mix of problems.

Long Reads

5. “The Insourcing Boom
Charles Fishman, The Atlantic (December 2012)

“I think the era of inexpensive labor is basically over,” said Jeffrey Immelt, CEO of General Electric. This profound shift is changing business models-and perhaps even outsourcing practices, as we see hints of manufacturing coming back to the United States. After all, if (A) labor is a smaller portion of a product’s cost structure, (B) the difference between the cost of labor in China and the US is shrinking, and (C) manufacturing at home brings a slew of synergistic and innovative advantages, perhaps we are witnessing the rebirth of American manufacturing. This piece expertly weaves these global issues into a historical account of GE’s Appliance Park in Louisville.

Longer Reads

6. “Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds
The National Intelligence Council (December 2012)

Whether you call it the G-Zero, as we do at Eurasia Group, or “a multipolar world” where the US is no longer the hegemonic power and no one country will take its place, the NIC’s new report provides a compelling map of this new global order’s significance in shaping the world of tomorrow. ‘Megatrends,’ ‘Game-Changers,’ ‘Potential Worlds’, and everything from the impact of 3D printing to the potential for ‘black swan’ events makes for a fascinating read.

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