It's Ian Bremmer's job to assess political risks across the globe and use that insight to help businesses respond to global instability.
Bremmer wrote — and recorded a video — about the top 10 political risks of 2013 for Reuters.
The top three are:
3.) Arab Summer: When the Arab Spring didn't provide any fruit last year, it sloughed into an Arab winter. Now, in 2013, expect a long, hot Arab Summer. Radicalized movements are going to play a much more important role. An increasingly violent confrontation between Sunni and Shia both within and between countries is bringing the region a sectarianism that, before the Arab Spring, had gone largely dormant. But now Syria's descent into chaos is spreading insecurity into Iraq, Jordan and Turkey. Meanwhile, new regimes are having a difficult time balancing governance with populism.
2.) China vs. information: The risk that the Chinese government can't necessarily manage is the commodity that's most unruly: information. A larger, better-educated middle class is demanding more unfiltered access to the Internet just as media reports are revealing secrets about Chinese leaders' personal wealth. That's forcing the Chinese to become more risk-averse, and become more nationalistic. That could easily isolate China even more than it already is.
1.) Emerging markets: Emerging markets are responsible for about two-thirds of the world's economic growth, and their share will get even larger in the next 10 years. That raises the stakes for their future growth, and thus also the risks in case of an economic shock. Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Turkey, Malaysia and the Philippines hold immense promise, and immense risk. At the same time, some emerging markets that are submerging: Egypt, Iraq, India, Indonesia and Peru, among others, are all struggling to scale their growth. The global economy can only hope they straighten themselves out.
Bremmer is in the Twin Cities to give the keynote speech at Saint Mary's University's Hendrickson Institute for Ethical Leadership Forum. He'll talk about the shifts taking place globally and how they'll affect economies and nations.
READ MORE ABOUT POLITICAL RISK:
• Ian Bremmer's blog for Reuters. Recent topics include hackers in North Korea, China's relationship with Africa and lessons from Cyprus.
• Global political risk atlas 2013. "The latest dynamic political risk index from Maplecroft ranks 197 countries on the chances of conflict, terrorism, enforced regime change and resource nationalism." (The Guardian)
• Political risk must-reads. Round-up of essential articles curated by Bremmer.