The World in 2020

Leggi in italiano

The World in 2020

Leggi in italiano
Last year, we predicted an intense 2019. And so it has been. From Brexit keeping us with bated breath, to the struggling beginning of the new European Commission; from protests going global (including long-awaited mobilizations for climate), to an increasingly “disordered” world order. 2020 promises to be just as intense. But for different reasons: next year, the trends and unsolved crises of 2019 will finally claim to be taken seriously, to be faced and, whenever possible, solved.
[et_bloom_inline optin_id="optin_2"]

Global economy

Will 2020 be the year of recession?

When and whence will the new recession come? Some believe it’s time to seek shelter from the storm brewing on the other side of the Atlantic…

by Francesco Daveri, Bocconi University and ISPI Senior Advisor

After global protests

Will 2020 be the year of repression?

Hong Kong, Baghdad, Santiago. In 2019 the world took to the streets, leaving governments and leaders quaking in their boots. Here’s what to expect from 2020.

by Alberto Martinelli, University of Milan and ISPI Senior Advisor

What comes after protests in Hong Kong?

by Andreas Fulda, Nottingham University

What comes after protests in Iraq?

by Irene Costantini, University of Naples “L’Orientale”

What comes after protests in Chile?

by Giovanni Agostinis, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile

Future of the Union


Will Europe be relaunched?

“A social Europe that can harmonise industrial policies”: this is Romano Prodi’s wish for 2020. The new Commission has the ability to achieve this turning point, but it must also be willing to do so.

Usa 2020

Will Trump be re-elected?

The 2020 U.S. election campaign will be the most bitter, acrimonious ever. Whether Trump is re-elected or not, America will emerge from the election even more divided, resentful, and changed.

by Matthew Wilson, Southern Methodist University and ISPI Senior Associate Research Fellow


Will ISIS rise from the ashes?

Now that the “caliphate” has been decapitated, global jihad is ebbing. But from Nigeria to the Philippines, other developments deserve our attention.

by Olivier Roy, European University Institute (EUI)

Gulf tensions

Will Saudi Arabia and Iran call for a time-out?

While in 2019 tensions in the Gulf nearly came to the breaking point, 2020 may mark a turnaround (or at least a truce) in relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

by Cinzia Bianco, European Council on Foreign Relations

Glimmers of change


Will Russia and Ukraine strike a détente?

Five years after the annexation of Crimea, European sanctions, and the war in Donbas, the presidents of Russia and Ukraine finally met to outline a peace agreement: the future of the region – and of the continent – hangs in the balance.

by Antonella Scott, Il Sole 24 Ore

Squares and elections

Will Latin American turmoil escalate?

The tensions that are unsettling South America have roots running much deeper that the demands that have unleashed the protests: they point to the need for radical economic and social change.

by Livio Zanotti, Journalist



Will climate action follow climate mobilization?

In 2019, climate strikes filled the streets worldwide. Time is running out, and after the catharsis of the protests, governments and industries must change tack. Radically so.

by Sander Chan, German Development Institute

Trade beyond USA-China tensions

Will the WTO survive 2020?

The ongoing tariff war between China and the United States has brought a dose of anarchy into international trade. The World Trade Organization, which monitors and regulates its development, will keep existing, but it certainly won’t thrive.

by Daniel Gros, Centre for European Policy Studies



Not just a new president and a new parliament: Taiwan’s elections will be heavily influenced by the country’s relationship with Beijing, its increasingly meddlesome neighbour.

by Chun-Yi Lee, University of Nottingham


The Sahel

Terrorism, smuggling, and migrant flows. More than anywhere in Africa – and perhaps the world – the Sahel is where these phenomena come together, fuelling social and economic crises. Keeping an eye on the Sahel in 2020 will be paramount.

by Francesco Strazzari and Luca Raineri, Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies


The Balkans

While most think tankers and Policy makers are concentrating on how the Balkan EU accession process can be kept alive, they are missing a far more fundamental, if less sexy, topic: depopulation.

by Tim Judah, The Economist



Africa’s largest country is at a crossroads: with the end of the Bouteflika era, a new chapter begins. Will it be accompanied by change?

by Yahia Zoubir, KEDGE Business School


Ursula von der Leyen

Ursula von der Leyen

The new President of the European Commission was the most eagerly anticipated public figure of 2019. In 2020, all eyes will be on her.

by Beda Romano, Il Sole 24 Ore

Christine Lagarde

Christine Lagarde

“I’m neither a dove nor a hawk. My ambition is to be this owl that’s often associated with a little bit of wisdom”. This is what the new President of the ECB says about herself.

by Franco Bruni, ISPI Vice President and Bocconi University

Annegret Kramp Karrenbauer

Annegret Kramp Karrenbauer

The future of the engine of Europe, Germany, will depend largely on who drives it. Frau Merkel’s successor at the head of the CDU will have a major impact on Europe as a whole.

by Michele Valensise, Ambassador and President, German-Italian Centre for European Dialogue Villa Vigoni

HomeAboutPublications – Experts – The World In 2020 (Italian version) – Media requests

ISPI (Italian Institute for International Political Studies) – Palazzo Clerici (Via Clerici 5 – 20121 Milan)