Top 5 Trends of 2017

2017 has been pretty hectic. I’m assuming it has been as well for the rest of the world. In case you have been too scared/annoyed/excited to keep up with the news (and to start up this blog after a long hiatus), here are some trends I noticed throughout 2017.

Some Leaders Never Change

Longtime leaders are stepping down but are not out. Robert Mugabe resigned his 37-year presidency in Zimbabwe by a military coup. While his wife, Grace Mugabe, did lose the election, the winner, Emmerson Mnangagwa, is a close ally of Robert Mugabe. In Angola, José Eduardo dos Santos is stepping down, but he will remain the head of his party. Raul Castro promised to step down next year, but he will likely also stay in control. So far, his term limit has been extended from February 2017 to April 2017 by the Cuban National Assembly.

The Year of Underdog Elections

2017 has been the year of the underdog, for better and worse. Donald Trump was inaugurated as President of the United States, Britain is negotiating its exit from the EU, and a terrorist group in Colombia, the FARC, was voted to become a political party. On the other hand, Emmanuel Macron is President of France, and Doug Jones (a Democrat) won a Senate seat in Alabama. Although these changes have resulted in a less cooperative world, 2018 looks set for a backlash against the populism and the rise of the extreme right that 2017 brought.

Is Global Peace Improving?

According to the Global Peace Index by Vision of Humanity, the world in 2017 is more peaceful than in 2016. But, don’t celebrate. This increase means that the global peace index has finally bottomed out in 2016 after a decade of decline. Lesotho, Mali, Saudi Arabia, Burundi, and Ethiopia have dropped the most in peacefulness in 2017. The Central African Republic, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Portugal, Djibouti are the most improved.

Food Security is in Decline

You can find the effects of a less peaceful decade in the world’s food security. The Food Security Index by The Economist Intelligence Unit has recorded a decline in global food security for 2017 after experiencing four years of gains. Chad, Zambia, Malaysia, Angola, and Ethiopia, had the most significant falls in food security this year. Sierra Leone, Paraguay, Ecuador, Bangladesh, and Nicaragua were the most improved.

Remembering the Great Recession

Keeping on with the look into the past decade, 2018 will mark the 10th anniversary since the collapse of Lehman Brothers and the crash of the subprime mortgage bubble. It will also be the 10th anniversary of the Apple App Store. With the Fed feeling the pressure to say the world is out of the Great Recession, that moment in 2008 is a herald of the tumultuous years we have ahead.
 Happy New Year, everyone.

Originally published at on January 1, 2018.

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