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PS Commentators’ Predictions for 2024

Among the big issues and trends that will dominate attention in the year ahead are threats to democracy, major wars, and looming economic risks. If there is any cause for hope, it will lie in promising innovations and the possibility that the center may yet hold in the face of increasingly destructive political movements.

Every December, Project Syndicate commentators identify the issues and trends to watch in the coming 12 months. Although the world has largely moved on from COVID-19, it is still dealing with the ramifications of Russia’s war in Ukraine, as well as new wars, conflicts, and revisionist misadventures from the Middle East and the Sahel to Latin America and the South China Sea. In this year’s selection, commentators stress the role that democratic elections will play in resolving these and other issues, and in ensuring a long-term future for democracy itself.


Africa will be forced to focus disproportionately on challenges stemming from coups, conflicts, and climate change. With the return of military brass hats in West Africa, democratic governance will remain under siege, and Nigeria, an insecurity-plagued Gulliver, will struggle to impose order on its own northeast as well as on Lilliputians across the drought-stricken Sahel. The Horn of Africa will remain threatened by widespread displacement, drought, famine, and warlordism. Militias in eastern Congo and the Central African Republic will continue to drive massive population displacement, and flood-stricken Southern Africa’s dominant liberation parties – not least South Africa’s African National Congress – will stubbornly cling to power.