My father sometimes tells the story of my grandfather who while serving in the RAF in Alexandria in World War Two accidently discovered the plans for D-Day and found himself recalled and detained under guard for several weeks in Anglesey to ensure the secret would not get out. The details are hazy as to how he came to learn of the pending Allied plans for the invasion of France, whether he discovered it on a superior’s desk, or learnt it from a fellow serviceman drinking in a local bar remains the source of much speculation amongst me and my family.

The G20 Summit in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China September 4, 2016. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

As COVID-19 is on its way to decimating the global economy and governments struggle between decisions to contain the outbreak of infection and the long-term economic effects of large swathes of their populace being unable to work, many analysts are speculating of the world to come.

Some predict the eventual aftermath of the pandemic will lead to higher levels of government intervention in the economy, others to the creation of a larger social safety net or increased degrees of cross-border collaboration with international partners. …

What comes next is a universal concern when considering the transfer of power- in democracies and dictatorships alike, an increased amount of time and speculation is spent on real or imagined succession planning. Why then do so many countries and political systems fail to get it right, particularly when there are so many examples across the globe today where a ‘weak chain’ of succession risks unleashing political instability and chaos?

To Western observers, Vladimir Putin’s position as Russia President for life is a foregone conclusion. Over his twenty years in office he has tamed the Russian oligarchs who ran much…

Sam Goodman

A former Political Adviser, a trustee of the British Foreign Policy Group, and author of the Imperial Premiership.

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