Since the 2008 financial crisis, the world’s biggest risks have been economic. From a euro zone meltdown, to a Chinese hard landing, to the U.S. debt crisis, analysts have spent the past five years worrying about how to stave off financial implosion.
That’s over. In 2014, big-picture economics are relatively more stable. But geopolitics are very much in play. The impact of the G-Zero world — one that increasingly lacks global leadership and coordination — is on display.
So what are this year’s top 10 political risks? I’ll describe them, in video and text, below.
Among emerging markets, Turkey is particularly vulnerable in 2014. The country faces spillover effects from Syria’s civil war, a re-emergence of the Kurdish insurgency, and heightened political uncertainty in the wake of public outcry against Prime Minister Erdogan. Erdogan is lashing out against the opposition, both inside and outside his party — and elections loom.
9.) The capricious Kremlin
President Putin remains the single most powerful individual in the world, with a commanding hold on power in one of the world’s most important countries. But his popularity has waned significantly, and after a decade of rising expectations, Russia’s economy is stagnating (and too oil-dependent: see risk #5). This makes Russia under Putin far less predictable — at home and abroad — but Putin is no less willing or able to implement his preferred policies. Expect the unexpected from Putin in 2014.