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Top Risks 2015

いつの間にか雑誌TIMEのforeign affairs columnist になっていたIan Bremmer。年末のTIMEにも大きく登場していましたね。

America’s Uneasy Path Abroad in 2015

Ian Bremmer @ianbremmer Dec. 18, 2014

彼の運営するシンクタンクEurasia Groupが毎年発表する政治経済リスクのトップ10が発表される頃だなと思っていたら1月5日に発表していたようです。Morning Joeというテレビ番組でも丁寧に説明しています。

Top Risks 2015
Ian Bremmer, President
Cliff Kupchan, Chairman
Published January 5, 2015

1 The Politics of Europe
2 Russia
3 The Effects of China Slowdown
4 Weaponization of Finance
5 ISIS, Beyond Iraq and Syria
6 Weak Incumbents
7 The Rise of Strategic Sectors
8 Saudi Arabia vs. Iran
9 Taiwan/China
10 Turkey
* Red Herrings

1位はThe Politics of Europe 。Charlie Hebdo襲撃事件の直前に発表されたものですが、European leaders, therefore, must manage domestic dissent, squabbling among governments, and external threats. We'll see bigger headline crises in a geopolitically tumultuous 2015.と恐ろしいほど予言的なものになっています。外側からみると「表現の自由」とか「イスラムvsヨーロッパ」の問題をまず考えてしまいがちですが、政治・経済の緊張状況が前提条件としてあったのですね。

1 - The Politics of Europe
Europe's economics are in substantially better shape than at the height of the Eurozone crisis. But the politics is now much worse. That's true on three different levels: bottom-up, intra-EU, and outside-in.

At the grass roots, it's a surge of public anger across Europe. While there's a level of social instability attached to that, the immediate problem is a range of political movements that are developing momentum. Some are far left; others are far right. All are euroskeptic, and all are challenging establishment parties that have lost political legitimacy. Their rise has been dramatic, shows little sign of slowing, and will become politically meaningful in 2015. In particular, Syriza is likely to win snap elections in Greece and join a governing coalition, and Podemos could actually win in Spain's general elections at the end of the year.

More broadly, this populist surge requires a move by the establishment parties toward more euroskeptic positions to ensure they remain in power. This trend is clear both in Europe's periphery and its core. In France, the rising popularity of the National Front (FN) means the Union for a Popular Movement will have to tack to the right to improve its chances of regaining power in 2017. In the UK, a challenge from the UK Independence Party has moved Prime Minister David Cameron toward a much tougher line on immigration and toward support for an in/out referendum on EU membership in order to win national elections in May. Even in Germany, the rise of the Alternatives for Germany party has limited Chancellor Angela Merkel's ability to support deeper European integration and Eurozone stabilization.

Friction among EU states is worsening. The best case for Europe would be Germany, France, and the UK working together to provide leadership. But that's far less likely in this environment; France can't temper German insistence on austerity over stimulus because France won't meet its deficit targets--and because President Francois Hollande's unpopularity (ratings have dipped as low as 13%, the lowest number for any French president ever!) is only encouraging the FN. The Brits are likely to remain disengaged given their own unresolved questions of EU membership. And new, more populist, peripheral governments will work to unwind the pension reforms, fiscal balances, and other hard-fought pieces of legislation that the Eurozone crisis made possible. This year, conflicts over fiscal balances between and among Brussels, Berlin, Paris, Rome, and a host of other European capitals will make America's Democrats and Republicans look like one big happy family.

The external political environment is more challenging, as well. The Russia crisis is set to escalate, and worries over potential security incidents between Europe and the Russian military--far higher than at any point between China and its Asian neighbors--leave Europe in no condition to handle the resulting economic consequences. Terrorist threats from Islamist militants are much greater than in any region outside the Middle East, given the number of European citizens fighting in Iraq and Syria, and the size of Muslim communities inside these countries. Perhaps most importantly, the transatlantic relationship is deteriorating. American unilateralism is a challenge for Europe on most every level. Washington has more interest in punishing Moscow and less interest in safeguarding Europe's economic wellbeing. Spying and the use of drones are poisoning European public attitudes toward Washington. The US-Britain relationship is closer on these issues, but relations between Americans and Germans--far more important for Europe's future--are further apart.

European leaders, therefore, must manage domestic dissent, squabbling among governments, and external threats. We'll see bigger headline crises in a geopolitically tumultuous 2015. Europe will bear the cost of most of them. And so, this year, the politics of Europe is our top risk.


Asia Nationalism

A lack of global leadership--what we call the G-Zero world--has created considerable geopolitical instability in recent years. But in Asia, leadership at the national level is now having the opposite effect. Four of Asia's key economies benefit from strong, charismatic, and popular leaders (especially in contrast to their predecessors): China's Xi, India's Narendra Modi, Japan's Shinzo Abe, and even Indonesia's Joko. All four are prioritizing sweeping domestic economic reform that's well overdue in their countries and, at least thus far, are enjoying some success. Most importantly, all four are pursuing these policies without their hands being forced by immediate crisis (unlike the American response to the financial crisis or the European response to the Eurozone crisis). This affords them more flexibility when challenges to their policy priorities arise, and greater likelihood of success--or at the least, significant progress before their efforts diminish.

And so despite plenty of domestic support for nationalism in Asia, these four critical actors have good reason to avoid foreign distractions, improve their regional economic ties, and keep security relations in balance. We'll surely see headlines around military confrontation in the South and East China Seas, Indian assertiveness (and Chinese concern) over Arunachal Pradesh, and talk of military buildup across the region. China's assertiveness won't disappear, though it's much more likely to remain focused on smaller states without ties to the West, such as Vietnam. Serious tensions are a longer-term concern. For 2015 at least, there's going to be a pragmatic restraint among Asia's powers, and an immediate move toward cooler heads in the event of any accidental incident.

TimeのウエブサイトではCharlie Hebdoの事件後に寄稿していました。ムスリム移民の置かれた状況を5つあげています。

5 Facts That Explain the Charlie Hebdo Attack
Ian Bremmer @ianbremmer Jan. 7, 2015

Immigration figures, unemployment numbers and an unpopular President all offer context to a terrorism attack

Wednesday’s attack on magazine Charlie Hebdo shocked France, but tensions with the country’s Muslim immigrant population have been building for years. It looks like these attacks were motivated by anger among Muslim militants that the newspaper had published cartoon images that mocked the Prophet Muhammad. There is no political or demographic trend that can explain such a cold-blooded murder, but the statistics below tell a disturbing story about how this crime will exacerbate already high tensions in France and across Europe, making life still more difficult for Muslim immigrants.

1. All-time highs for migration
2. Painful economic realities … and misconceptions
3. Anti-immigration goes mainstream
4. All-time lows for a French President
5. Passports — and lack thereof