Included in this year’s political violence special edition:
The Return of Nationalism
From Trump’s “America First” to the ever-looming Brexit, nationalist movements have been making steady gains across the globe in recent years. 2018, however, saw many cement their place in society, both formally via securing leadership positions within democratically elected governments, and also at a grass-roots level, with a growing normalisation of once nationalist taboos. The impact of this has been twofold. On the one hand, we have seen odd alliances form, including between far-right, far-left and other anti-establishment movements. On the other hand, these divisions have led to inter-group violence and frequent episodes of public unrest which are likely to permeate 2019.
US Foreign Policy under Trump
US foreign policy under the Donald Trump administration is characterised by uncertainty and unpredictability. The president’s approach to foreign policy appears to be driven less by ideology than pragmatism. At other times, such as with trade policy, pragmatism has been cast aside in favour of domestic political considerations. US foreign policy in 2019 is likely to reflect Trump’s willingness to further cast aside traditional approaches. Trump’s unconventional moves have left many members of the international community grappling to find alternate centres of gravity, while others have scrambled to fill a fast-growing power vacuum.
Elections to Watch in 2019
Much is at stake in 2019 when it comes to scheduled elections. The outcomes will greatly determine the long-term trajectories of many countries, while also shaping regional dynamics. Indonesian elections are likely to take on religious and ethnic tones, while a new Tunisian government may finally ease an ongoing policy paralysis. Similarly, a strong mandate in Haiti will enable the country to regain stability. Whether it is attaining lasting peace in Libya and Ukraine, reinvigorating a struggling economy in Argentina, or helping fight entrenched corruption in South Africa and Nigeria, electoral outcomes may have a marked impact on the fortunes of several countries in 2019 and beyond.
Water World: The Role of Water in Geopolitical and Localised Conflict
Around the world, tensions between local communities, governments and private corporations over access to, and the maintenance of, clean water resources have bubbled over. Incidents of violent unrest stemming from water-related grievances demonstrate that understanding and effectively engaging with community and political stakeholders, especially when operating in foreign markets, has never been more important in navigating the complex balance between attracting foreign investment, protecting community resilience and mitigating against local hostility.
In 2019, S-RM will continue to monitor and assess these four themes, and many others, as they diverge, intersect and inevitably result in new and emergent security developments. Together with AXA XL, we will keep our clients not only better informed, but also better prepared to mitigate and respond to incidents of political violence in the year ahead.
S-RM provides critical intelligence to support ongoing threat monitoring for international corporations, organisations and individuals. For further information regarding global and travel threat monitoring, analysis and mitigation, please see our Crisis Prevention services.