In our 2023 publication we look at the big geopolitical questions likely to shape the political violence landscape in the coming year. Notable developments in 2022, including Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and growing international tensions elsewhere, will continue to drive instability globally. We unpack these stories in this year’s Political Violence Special Edition.
Geopolitical games: The uncertainties underlying global power dynamics in 2023
In this article we highlight three key dynamics – the Russia-Ukraine war, growing tensions in the South China Sea, and US-Saudi relations – whose ramifications extend from the regional to the global. Developments elsewhere may prove to be important, but it is these three dynamics that we see as having the most significant impacts across a range of business considerations in the coming year.
Upsetting the apple cart: Unrest and instability stays the course
In 2022 civil unrest globally saw a slight decline when compared to 2021, but pressing socio-economic challenges have already caused widespread popular dissatisfaction and political instability. Looking ahead, we draw out some of the key dynamics likely to trigger protests in the coming year.
Russia since the Ukraine war: A declining regional hegemon
With much of Russia’s attention focussed on the war in Ukraine, some of its near neighbours have started to step out of the shadow of the hegemon. On the one hand, this means creating some distance from Russia as an international partner, and on the other, it has seen some countries grow their assertiveness in regional issues and to seek to deepen partnerships elsewhere, most notably with China.
Shades of grey: The ever adapting nature of warfare
The war in Ukraine has heightened popular awareness of the ‘grey zone’ and hybrid warfare tactics nation-states employ to advance their political agendas. Increasingly, non-state actors – which have now become likely targets of hostile state actions – will need to consider how they can mitigate or respond to the use of these tactics.
Mounting crises: Aid, conflict, and competition
Current funding estimates for humanitarian responses globally show that many conflict-affected areas will not receive the aid they need. Attention in 2022 has been firmly focussed on the Ukraine war, but continuing conflicts in the likes of Yemen, Ethiopia, and Myanmar will be drawing on a decreasing pot of aid, with significant implications for both people and governments worldwide.