2014 was dominated by Russia’s actions in Ukraine and their implications for the post-Cold War European order, the eurozone crisis as exemplified by the crisis in Greece, and the rise of the so-called Islamic State group and the terrorist threat it poses in Europe. This edition of The State of the World looks at these three major issue areas as well as developments in Turkey and broader global changes. Turkey’s seeming retreat from the development of a liberal democracy paralleled developments in Hungary and Russia and has made a question posed by Michael Ignatieff — “are the authoritarians winning?” — a central one for the Western liberal order.
Essays by James Goldgeier, Hanns W. Maull, Kateryna Pishchikova, Klaus-Dieter Frankenberger, and Ivan Krastev and Mark Leonard focus on the complex of issues surrounding this geopolitical earthquake caused by Russia’s actions and its implications for the transatlantic alliance. It is clear that the Russian challenge to both the European security and liberal orders will be one that will require a long-term Western strategy in response.
Russia’s actions, the rise of the Islamic State group, and the eurozone crisis all have profound implications for the foreign policies of both the EU and some key member states. Nathalie Tocci offers a consideration of the revival of Italy’s foreign policy role, while Bartlomiej E. Nowak looks at Polish foreign policy’s “golden years.” Sir Michael Leigh delves into the problematic relationship of the United Kingdom to the EU and the possibilities of “Brexit.” Insights into additional central challenges facing the European project are provided by Thomas Straubhaar on the eurozone, Tim Boersma on a European energy union, Steffen Angenendt on refugee flows, and Gábor Halmai on Hungarian illiberalism.
The continued and escalating turmoil in the Middle East is more directly felt in Europe than in North America, given the continent’s proximity to this volatile region. Essays by Geoffrey Kemp, Michael Bell, Christina Lin, Michael Barnett, and Janice Stein provide insights into the regional impact on a variety of European policies as well as areas of both divergence and convergence with the United States. Pavol Demeš’ photo essay about the Yazidis gives a human face to the turmoil in the region.
Turkey has always been a special interest for the Academy, which devoted its second fellowship year in 2009-10 to Turkey’s evolving role in its region. Essays by Kemal Kirişci and Juliette Tolay explore this pivotal country’s changing relationship to both the United States and Europe.
Finally, global developments outlined by Martin Jacques on the continued rise of China, David Cameron on Canada’s role in the transatlantic world, Stacy D. VanDeveer on climate and energy policies, and Clifford Bob on the costs on anti-terror policies on the liberal order conclude the volume.