This Week in Geopolitics, January 2018

How China Benefits from African Debt

January 29, 2018

The level of debt owed by African governments in countries such as Kenya, Uganda, Mozambique, and Tanzania has increased markedly since the 2008 financial crisis. Problematic though sub-Saharan African debt may be, debt levels vary country by country and therefore mitigate the possibility of a continent-wide crisis. Still, widespread default could create opportunities for outside powers that covet the region’s natural resources.

How the European Union Became Divided on Russia

January 22, 2018

Last week, the prime ministers of Hungary and Bulgaria criticized EU policy toward Russia for being too harsh. The European Union imposed sanctions against Russia in response to Moscow’s intervention in Ukraine, but Hungary and Bulgaria are concerned that the EU’s continued anti-Russia stance could pose a security threat and does not benefit either country.

Five Maps and Charts That Tell the Story of 2018

January 15, 2018

Almost a year ago to the day, we wrote an article titled "The Geopolitics of 2017 in Four Maps." The premise was simple: We picked out four of the best maps our graphic designers (TJ Lensing, Jay Dowd, and Mandy Walsh) had made in the past year. We selected the maps based not only on how awesome they were, but also on how closely they linked to our predictions for the year ahead. As it turned out, that article was one of our most popular in 2017.

The United States’ Inescapable Place in Mexico’s Election

January 8, 2018

Presidential elections are almost always internal affairs. In the case of Mexico’s forthcoming election, however, it’s impossible to separate the vote from Mexico’s relationship with the United States. The election will take place July 1, but public discourse over its themes has already started and will remain a focal point in Mexico during the first half of the year. The domestic issues and candidates’ proposed solutions will be indicative of Mexico’s limitations in its relationship with the...