The World in 2023

The Calm After the Storms... Really?

Two years after the pandemic started, 2022 was supposed to be a year of peace. Instead, the world was suddenly faced with another storm. The Russian invasion of Ukraine shocked the international community. Geopolitical tensions over Taiwan almost reached its breaking point. Energy prices soared, inflation skyrocketed, and globalization appeared to be on its last leg. The storm is still raging, but there are signs that the darkest clouds might finally be dissipating. The war in Ukraine has seemingly reached a stalemate. Europe is stocked up on enough gas to survive this winter. The Black Sea Grain Initiative and the falling price of grain has prevented a global food crisis. Also, inflation seems to have slowed. However, the storm is far from over. What does 2023 have in store for us?


After Winter, Spring?

Mikhail Minakov, Kennan Institute


Inflation Peak, Recession Looming?

Zsolt Darvas, Bruegel and Corvinius University of Budapest

Energy Crisis:

Which Security?

Alessandro Blasi, IEA


What's Left of Globalisation?

Claudia Schmucker, DGAP and Stormy-Annika Mildner, Aspen Institute Germany

Food Insecurity:

False Alarm?

Tommaso Emiliani, EIT Food


Where Does Competition Lead?

Andrew Small, GMFUS


Are We Safe Now?

David Quammen, Writer and Author of “Breathless”


Back to Reality?

Matthew Goodwin, University of Kent

Clouds in the Sky

Autocracies: Regime Failure


Andrei Kolesnikov, CEIP


Aniseh Bassiri-Tabrizi, RUSI and ISPI


Alicia Garcia-Herrero, Bruegel

What we're watching

Countries to watch


Harsh Pant, King's College London


Soli Özel, Kadir Has University

Election to watch


Idayat Hassan, CDD

Trends to watch

Green Awakening

Samantha Gross, The Brookings Institution

Crisis to watch


Gerald Knaus and Pascal Franz, ESI

5 good news to kick off 2023

In the year of the war in Ukraine, the energy crisis in Europe and the return of double-digit inflation, good news has inevitably taken a back seat. But they were there. The pandemic worldwide is now far less deadly than a year ago. At the beginning of 2021, daily new deaths due to Covid amounted to 15.000. In the past three months, to less than 2.000.

Positive news can also be found in the European response to the unprecedented exodus of 5 million Ukrainians. Even the Visegrád group’s countries played their part. Above all, Poland has taken in more refugees from Ukraine than any other European country.
For a war that begins (in Ukraine), one (in Ethiopia) sees a possible resolution. In November, the government of Ethiopia and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front signed a peace agreement. Fingers crossed: the truce established in March was short-lived, with a rekindling of the fighting during summer. Moreover, not all the actors on the ground (aka Eritrea) were involved in the negotiations. Nonetheless, this interruption of the conflict has to be welcomed. In the past two years, the Ethiopian war has caused an estimated half a million military and civilian deaths, millions of internally displaced persons, and a severe food crisis.  
Despite the Ukraine war and repeated lockdowns in China, global logistics seems to be past its most challenging period. The end of draconian measures under China’s ‘0 Covid’ strategy should prevent a recurrence of bottlenecks like the one we observed in late April at the port of Shanghai. Staff shortages caused by forced quarantines created a traffic jam of almost 500 container ships (5% of the world fleet) waiting to enter the port. On that occasion, the Global Supply Chain Pressure Index reached its second all-time high.  
Finally, there’s some much needed good news from the energy sector. A few weeks ago, a group of American scientists succeeded in achieving energy for the first time from nuclear fusion, generating more energy than they put into the system. Between high energy prices and the challenge of moving away from fossil fuels as soon as possible, nuclear fusion seems like the breath of fresh air the world needs. It is an almost unlimited, safe (it does not generate radioactive waste), and above all, clean (as it does not produce greenhouse gases) source of energy that investors are increasingly hinging on.

Countries to Watch/India: Image Credits MEAphotogallery – Flickr, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi was welcomed by H.E Mr. Joko Widodo, President of Indonesia in G20 Summit in Bali, Indonesia