Friday, April 25, 2014

Year in Review 2011

The year 2011 witnessed not only a revival of recessionary fears, but also levels of political fragmentation, Great Power antagonism, and revolutionary euphoria in the uprisings of the Arab Spring unseen for decades. The shock waves from the 2008 financial crisis took on new and unexpected forms: a sovereign-debt crisis that has shaken the European Union to its foundations, as well as growing anxiety about the long-term strength of the US economy. The removal of long-established regimes in Egypt, Libya, and Tunisia promise a reconfiguring of power across the Middle East.

As a result of these events, issues long thought settled – for example, the benefits of European unification, the permanence of Egyptian/Israeli peace, and the necessity of American leadership in Asia – have reemerged as fundamental questions. Following the events of 2011, such rock-solid certainties as that of dictatorship in the Arab world and rule by men in Asia are in the process of being upended.

In Project Syndicate’s special year-end supplement, Reality in Revolt, the world’s leading thinkers and policymakers assess the seismic upheavals of 2011 – and their implications for political and economic developments in 2012.

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