Ian Bremmer: The World in Geopolitical Recession
Wednesday, January 04, 2017
Ian Bremmer: The World in Geopolitical Recession
Kamala Kanta Dash
The world has entered into a “geopolitical recession”, may be for the first time since the end of Second World War. In the Top Risks Report, Prof Ian Bremmer who heads the Eurasia Group argues that 2017 is an important year in the contemporary history of the world, as important as the post-2008 economic recession, if not more. 

It is deeply concerning for the world peace and he is, unfortunately, very right. We are indeed in difficult times. It is not just for the Top 10 Global Risks that the Eurasia Group identifies, it is also for the dynamic and unpredictable interaction(s) between these risks where one can lead to another and creating all together a different set of risks for global security, business, development and peace. 

The Geopolitical Recession has started with the election of Donald Trump as the President who has promised to look inward and abandon the United States’ global role in crisis management. With the rise of terrorism, fundamentalism, nationalism and xenophobia, there is also a global call for “de-globalization”. Developments in Europe related to migration and the Brexit have accentuated this recession. The violence and insecurity in Middle East, volatility in East Asia and ongoing India-Pakistan cross-border conflict will only worsen this recession. The immediate recovery though seems unlikely in 2017, Bremmer and Eurasia group, however are hopeful that this geopolitical recession will not lead to a geopolitical depression.  

I have religiously followed the global risk environment since 2001 and geopolitics has always played an important role in global risks especially affecting decisions in global business. But it was not accorded the priority as per the real role it played and the huge impact it continues to have. This year Prof Bremmer’s attempt to bring geopolitics to centre stage is laudable as it deserves the attention it needs. The term ‘geopolitical recession’ as coined and expanded by Professor Bremmer is all set to enter into the dictionary of Global Business and International Relations. 

The Top 10 Risks identified by the Eurasia Group are

1. Independent America
2. China overreacts 
3. A weaker Merkel 
4. No reform 
5. Technology and the Middle East 
6. Central banks get political 
7. The White House versus Silicon Valley 
8. Turkey 
9. North Korea 
10. South Africa

The author is a Senior Editor at Odisha Diary and a Visiting Professor of Public Policy & Management at National Law University Odisha (NLUO). He used Ian Bremmer’s book G-Zero World as a key text while teaching Geopolitics and Social Environment of Business for MBA students at Sri Sri University.  

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