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Issue Guide: The World in 2012

Author: Newsteam Staff
December 26, 2012


From China's once-in-a-decade power transition to pivotal elections around the world, 2012 was a seminal year for U.S. foreign policy. Here is a guide to CFR materials that highlight and discuss this past year's turning points and developments. In addition, there are forecasts from a range of experts on economic and political trends to watch for in 2013.

Year in Review

Supporters of Egypt's Mohamed Morsi. (Photo: Asmaa Waguih/Courtesy Reuters)

Timeline: The Year of Elections
Elections throughout the world in 2012 brought several countries to a crossroads as they struggled with the eurozone debt crisis, the formation of post-Arab Spring governments, and recovery from economic malaise. This timeline revisits twelve of the year's most pivotal elections.

Crisis in Euroland: Year in Review
EU leaders took significant steps forward to rein in the eurozone crisis in 2012, but have struggled to implement meaningful, long-term reforms to develop a more integrated Europe.

Middle East Matters Blog: Ten Most Significant Developments of 2012
CFR's Robert Danin reviews the most significant developments in the region over the past year from a U.S. foreign policy perspective.

Democracy in Development Blog: Remarkable Women of 2012
CFR's Isobel Coleman remembers the remarkable women who fought for rights and opportunities across the world in 2012.

The Water's Edge Blog: Ten Foreign Policy Voices That Will Be Missed
CFR's James Lindsay remembers ten foreign policy luminaries who died this past year.

The Water's Edge Blog: Ten World Leaders Who Died in 2012
CFR's James Lindsay remembers ten foreign leaders and diplomats who died this past year.

Democracy in Development Blog: The Year in Indexes
CFR's Charles Landow pulls highlights from the 2012 editions of democracy and development indexes in this year-end installment of Missing Pieces.

Energy, Security, and Development Blog: The Most Influential Studies of 2012
CFR's Michael Levi highlights the five energy and climate publications that have had the most impact in the past year.

Latin America's Moments Blog: Looking Back on 2012
CFR's Shannon O'Neil identifies regional integration as the big theme for Latin America in 2012.

The World in 2013

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Finance Minister Taro Aso.
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Finance Minister Taro Aso. (Photo: Yuya Shino/Courtesy Reuters)

CPA: 2013 Preventive Priorities Survey
A survey from CFR's Center for Preventive Action lists contingencies that could plausibly occur in 2013, intended to help inform the U.S. policy community about the relative urgency and importance of competing conflict prevention demands.

Podcast: The World Next Year Editor Robert McMahon and CFR's Director of Studies James Lindsay preview major world events in the coming year: Global economic growth remains weak; the U.S. tries to get its fiscal house in order; power struggles simmer across the Middle East; a troop drawdown accelerates in Afghanistan; sovereignty disputes raise tensions in East Asia; and the battle over Internet freedom continues.

Interview: World Outlook for 2013
CFR's James Lindsay discusses three major foreign policy challenges confronting the United States in 2013, including tumult in the Middle East, rising tensions in East Asia, and the U.S. fiscal cliff.

Expert Roundup: Challenges for Global Governance
Four global think tank leaders examine the increasingly complex global challenges and the role of the international community in confronting them.

Will 2013 See Progress in China's Right Protection?
With the passing of International Human Rights Day, CFR's Jerome A. Cohen says China still has no effective means of enforcing the rights enshrined in its constitution. Yet, once again, new Communist Party leaders reignite hopes for bringing government and the party under the rule of law.

Expert Roundup: Prospects for the Global Economy
What does 2013 have in store for the global economy? We asked five distinguished experts to identify the most important trends, challenges, and opportunities in the upcoming year.

Expert Roundup: Changes and Challenges for China in 2013
As China leaps into the new year with a new generation of leaders, four experts weigh in on what we can expect from the burgeoning power.

Asia Unbound Blog: Chinese Cybersecurity in 2013
CFR's Adam Segal highlights five trends to watch in Chinese cybersecurity in the upcoming year.

Democracy in Development Blog: Five Innovations to Watch in 2013
The world needs innovative solutions for tackling global poverty. CFR's Isobel Coleman identifies five development innovations to watch in the upcoming year.

The Internationalist Blog: A New Agenda for the G20
Having recently assumed the rotating chair of the Group of Twenty (G20), the Russian government is now soliciting input on the agenda for its September 2013 meeting in St. Petersburg. CFR's Stewart Patrick weighs in.