Ian Bremmer

Ian Bremmer

Ian Bremmer is president of Eurasia Group and author of Superpower: Three Choices for America’s Role in the World. He tweets as @ianbremmer.

Articles by Ian Bremmer
Over the past few years, Brazil’s citizens have endured the worst recession in the country’s history, one of the world’s highest Covid-19 death tolls, a surge in violent crime, and global controversy over large-scale destruction in the Amazon forest. (AFP)
Over the past few years, Brazil’s citizens have endured the worst recession in the country’s history, one of the world’s highest Covid-19 death tolls, a surge in violent crime, and global controversy over large-scale destruction in the Amazon forest. (AFP)

In Brazil, a battle of populists — from the Right and the Left

PUBLISHED ON JUN 06, 2021 07:46 PM IST
As for the Amazon fires, deforestation accounted for one-third of the destruction of the world’s tropical forests in 2019. Trump, a climate sceptic, was willing to ignore the implications of this destruction, but the Joe Biden administration has joined with European leaders to combine offers of financial help for Brazil with pressure on Bolsonaro to reverse course on the Amazon policy
Brace yourself for much more political drama in the weeks ahead(REUTERS)
Brace yourself for much more political drama in the weeks ahead(REUTERS)

A fractured response to coronavirus | Opinion

PUBLISHED ON MAR 10, 2020 10:15 PM IST
World leaders fended off the 2008 slowdown together. But this time, it has been different
It is now a genuine political issue as extreme climate events have increased, in both frequency and severity. Politicians will have both less political space and resources to devote to the issue as globalisation stalls and both economics and geopolitics head into the downswing of their respective cycles(Satish Bate/HT Photo)
It is now a genuine political issue as extreme climate events have increased, in both frequency and severity. Politicians will have both less political space and resources to devote to the issue as globalisation stalls and both economics and geopolitics head into the downswing of their respective cycles(Satish Bate/HT Photo)

An era of adverse climate, geopolitics and economy

UPDATED ON DEC 14, 2019 06:07 PM IST
The world is in a situation that it hasn’t been in before — globalisation, geopolitics and economics all turning negative at the same time, while the world’s physical environment becomes increasingly inhospitable.
A demonstrator throws a brick on Pedder Street during a lunchtime protest in the Central district of Hong Kong, China, Nov 13. Hong Kong protests continue, flummoxing one of the world’s most significant economic power centres(Bloomberg)
A demonstrator throws a brick on Pedder Street during a lunchtime protest in the Central district of Hong Kong, China, Nov 13. Hong Kong protests continue, flummoxing one of the world’s most significant economic power centres(Bloomberg)

The proliferation of popular protests | Opinion

UPDATED ON NOV 16, 2019 07:54 PM IST
If there is one thing that unites the world in 2019, it’s anger at governments—that should worry both governments and the people that are raging against them
Even a failed impeachment bid will have impact on American politics going forward. The first and most obvious effect is on the president himself, who has already begun displaying erratic behaviour, both on Twitter and in real life(REUTERS)
Even a failed impeachment bid will have impact on American politics going forward. The first and most obvious effect is on the president himself, who has already begun displaying erratic behaviour, both on Twitter and in real life(REUTERS)

Trump will survive, but the worst is yet to come

Hindustan Times | By Ian Bremmer
UPDATED ON OCT 13, 2019 06:44 AM IST
The biggest impact of impeachment proceedings will be to push the US closer to a constitutional crisis with the 2020 election at its heart. It will call into question the legitimacy of the American political process itself
Much of the fear for democracy’s future centres on hardening international attitudes toward Donald Trump and the United States(AFP)
Much of the fear for democracy’s future centres on hardening international attitudes toward Donald Trump and the United States(AFP)

The promise of liberal democracy lives on within different political cultures

PUBLISHED ON JUN 29, 2019 07:56 PM IST
Liberal democracy faces its share of challenges, but EGF’s report indicates that people in the countries surveyed tend to differentiate between US government policies and the principles of individual rights and freedoms that American democracy provides
Back in 2010, the Indian government launched Aadhaar, an ambitious biometric identification system, to help keep track of the social services being provided to India’s 1.34 billion citizens(AFP)
Back in 2010, the Indian government launched Aadhaar, an ambitious biometric identification system, to help keep track of the social services being provided to India’s 1.34 billion citizens(AFP)

Leaders must weigh the political risks of new systems they introduce

UPDATED ON MAY 10, 2019 07:32 PM IST
One system is Aadhaar which has the potential to be transformative, but is not without perils
Protesters take part in a March for Europe to protest the Britain's vote to leave the European Union, London, July 2, 2016(AFP)
Protesters take part in a March for Europe to protest the Britain's vote to leave the European Union, London, July 2, 2016(AFP)

Europe is facing several challenges beyond Brexit

UPDATED ON APR 10, 2019 10:27 PM IST
Russia, China, and Africa will sow new divisions among EU states in coming years—and at a time when European consensus on important questions is already facing extraordinary stress
In China, 30 years ago, an audacious public protest in the capital’s central square pushed China’s autocrats to the brink(REUTERS)
In China, 30 years ago, an audacious public protest in the capital’s central square pushed China’s autocrats to the brink(REUTERS)

How much ground has democracy lost in recent years?

UPDATED ON MAR 09, 2019 05:19 PM IST
Democracy, like technology, evolves. No one can say with confidence that any autocrat will govern for life. But for many governments around the world, lasting authoritarian rule is becoming a much more realistic option
Venezuelan opposition leader and self-proclaimed interim president Juan Guaido and his wife Fabiana Rosales gesture during a rally against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's government in Caracas, Venezuela February 2(REUTERS)
Venezuelan opposition leader and self-proclaimed interim president Juan Guaido and his wife Fabiana Rosales gesture during a rally against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's government in Caracas, Venezuela February 2(REUTERS)

Venezuelans may finally have brighter days ahead

UPDATED ON FEB 24, 2019 11:38 AM IST
There’s no guarantee that true change is imminent. Maduro has proven his staying power again and again, mainly because Venezuela’s military has yet to decide that keeping him is costlier and more risky than packing him off into exile.
Those who underestimate Donald Trump’s political instincts are making a mistake. There have been few figures in American public life who better understand the sources of fear and anger that drive his most reliable followers(ANI)
Those who underestimate Donald Trump’s political instincts are making a mistake. There have been few figures in American public life who better understand the sources of fear and anger that drive his most reliable followers(ANI)

Rocky road ahead for Donald Trump in 2019

UPDATED ON JAN 20, 2019 10:26 AM IST
The greatest risk for Trump is that Republicans—voters and lawmakers—decide they can no longer afford his leadership
Whatever the current state of the US-China trade war, Asia’s geopolitics are fast becoming more contentious. Presidents Trump and Xi may have made some progress toward compromise at the recent G20 summit in Buenos Aires(AFP)
Whatever the current state of the US-China trade war, Asia’s geopolitics are fast becoming more contentious. Presidents Trump and Xi may have made some progress toward compromise at the recent G20 summit in Buenos Aires(AFP)

China’s assertion is turning Asian geopolitics even more contentious

UPDATED ON DEC 07, 2018 06:39 PM IST
Chinese leaders are now well aware that this expansion is creating a backlash in Asia, and elsewhere, as policymakers and companies in neighbouring countries see threats embedded in Beijing’s plans.
US President Donald Trump addresses a news conference after the midterm congressional elections at the White House in Washington.(REUTERS)
US President Donald Trump addresses a news conference after the midterm congressional elections at the White House in Washington.(REUTERS)

Midterms: How will the new reality in Washington influence Trump’s foreign policy?

UPDATED ON NOV 11, 2018 01:04 PM IST
Donald Trump’s political talents should not be underestimated, and many presidents, including Obama, have recovered from midterm defeats to win re-election, sometimes easily.
A man rides his bicycle at the Palestinian refugee camp of Yarmouk in the Syrian capital Damascus on October 6, 2018.(AP)
A man rides his bicycle at the Palestinian refugee camp of Yarmouk in the Syrian capital Damascus on October 6, 2018.(AP)
What’s the big trend in today’s international politics? Out with the old, in with something new. Voters around the world are looking for someone else. Anyone else. Someone they believe can help them regain control of their lives and get them off the path they believe they’re now on.(AFP)
What’s the big trend in today’s international politics? Out with the old, in with something new. Voters around the world are looking for someone else. Anyone else. Someone they believe can help them regain control of their lives and get them off the path they believe they’re now on.(AFP)

The US market collapse has remade our world

UPDATED ON SEP 15, 2018 04:50 PM IST
And there is surely more to come. How do we prepare for a world where, two years from now, the country you care most about may be governed by someone you’ve never heard of and a political party that doesn’t yet exist? The pace of change is head-spinning.
Security personal stand before shoes and toys left at the Tornillo Port of Entry in Tornillo, Texas, where minors crossing the border without proper papers have been housed after being separated from adults(AFP)
Security personal stand before shoes and toys left at the Tornillo Port of Entry in Tornillo, Texas, where minors crossing the border without proper papers have been housed after being separated from adults(AFP)

Dark days ahead for major Latin American countries

PUBLISHED ON JUL 14, 2018 05:31 PM IST
Mounting corruption, credibility crisis and public anger have become common features throughout Latin America
A combination photo shows North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang, North Korea and U.S. President Donald Trump in Palm Beach, Florida, U.S., respectively from Reuters files. Will Kim accept anything less than an explicit US pledge never to invade his country?(Reuters)
A combination photo shows North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang, North Korea and U.S. President Donald Trump in Palm Beach, Florida, U.S., respectively from Reuters files. Will Kim accept anything less than an explicit US pledge never to invade his country?(Reuters)

In the Trump-Kim deal, China is the biggest winner

PUBLISHED ON MAY 12, 2018 03:49 PM IST
As US influence recedes with a partial drawdown of troops, China will gain another step toward becoming East Asia’s dominant diplomatic and economic player.
A protester attends a demonstration during a national day of strike against reforms in Paris, France, March 22(REUTERS)
A protester attends a demonstration during a national day of strike against reforms in Paris, France, March 22(REUTERS)

The turmoil in the US and Europe — including tech change and inequality — are crossing into the developing world

UPDATED ON APR 15, 2018 07:33 AM IST
Where do all those energetic, ambitious young people go? The youth bulge we see in many developing countries can move from economic advantage to political threat as their path out of poverty is blocked. If they never join the active workforce, they will never have access to the education and training needed to earn 21st century jobs, and they know their children will fare no better
An asylum seeker takes a selfie with German Chancellor Angela Merkel following her visit to a branch of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees and a camp for refugees in Berlin, 2017(AFP)
An asylum seeker takes a selfie with German Chancellor Angela Merkel following her visit to a branch of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees and a camp for refugees in Berlin, 2017(AFP)

Angela Merkel is beleaguered but she is far from finished

UPDATED ON MAR 31, 2018 04:08 PM IST
As she begins her fourth and final term as Germany’s chancellor, her party remains Germany’s strongest, and she is more popular than the party. Germany’s economy will continue to expand. Unfortunately, Europe and the world need more leadership than a frustrated and erratic Donald Trump and a beleaguered Angela Merkel can provide.
Trump officials believe that China needs continuous access to US markets to avoid a sharp economic slowdown that might provoke a political crisis. Chinese officials believe their president is much less vulnerable to pressure than Trump, who must listen to continuous complaints from US business leaders and face voters again soon enough(REUTERS)
Trump officials believe that China needs continuous access to US markets to avoid a sharp economic slowdown that might provoke a political crisis. Chinese officials believe their president is much less vulnerable to pressure than Trump, who must listen to continuous complaints from US business leaders and face voters again soon enough(REUTERS)

Friction between the US and China is likely to last through 2018

UPDATED ON FEB 13, 2018 01:28 PM IST
Here’s the problem: Each side believes the other is more vulnerable. Trump officials believe that China needs continuous access to US markets to avoid a sharp economic slowdown that might provoke a political crisis. Chinese officials believe their president is much less vulnerable to pressure than Trump, who must listen to continuous complaints from US business leaders and face voters again soon enough
Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks during a joint press briefing with French President Emmanuel Macron at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on January 9, 2018. Chinese President Xi Jinping and French counterpart Emmanuel Macron met Tuesday for talks and to oversee the signing of business deals as the two global leaders seek closer ties(AFP)
Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks during a joint press briefing with French President Emmanuel Macron at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on January 9, 2018. Chinese President Xi Jinping and French counterpart Emmanuel Macron met Tuesday for talks and to oversee the signing of business deals as the two global leaders seek closer ties(AFP)

As the US scales back on foreign policy interventions, China is stepping into the vacuum

PUBLISHED ON JAN 20, 2018 06:22 PM IST
As he begins his second five-year term, Xi has consolidated enough power at home to redefine China’s external environment and set new rules within it. His timing is perfect; China is stepping forward just at the moment that a politically embattled and distracted US president is scaling back US commitment to traditional allies and alliances. The United States has created a vacuum, and China stands ready to fill it
As Trump backs the US away from new commitments, China’s government will continue to advance the Belt-Road project to extend its economic — and, therefore, political — influence across Asia and into Europe(AFP)
As Trump backs the US away from new commitments, China’s government will continue to advance the Belt-Road project to extend its economic — and, therefore, political — influence across Asia and into Europe(AFP)

In 2018, regional security will matter most for war and peace

PUBLISHED ON DEC 29, 2017 06:42 PM IST
In the new year, we’ll begin to see more clearly that connections between politics, security, and our economies are changing more quickly and becoming more complex than we might have imagined when 2017 began
PM Narendra Damodardas Modi shakes hands with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after signing the guestbook at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial museum in Jerusalem on July 4 2017. In July, Modi became the first Indian Prime Minister to visit Israel.(AP File Photo)
PM Narendra Damodardas Modi shakes hands with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after signing the guestbook at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial museum in Jerusalem on July 4 2017. In July, Modi became the first Indian Prime Minister to visit Israel.(AP File Photo)

HTLS column by Ian Bremmer: Foreign policy rides on Modi’s charisma

UPDATED ON NOV 29, 2017 02:31 PM IST
PM Narendra Modi’s charisma, his determined push for economic development and his anti-corruption drive have made him broadly popular.
South African president Jacob Zuma in New Delhi, 2015(Hindustan Times)
South African president Jacob Zuma in New Delhi, 2015(Hindustan Times)

African National Congress could well lose power in the next polls

UPDATED ON OCT 28, 2017 03:11 PM IST
The current government’s promises to turn things around don’t have much credibility. Jacob Zuma has survived nearly 800 separate charges of fraud, money-laundering, and graft, a court ruling that he violated the country’s constitution, multiple votes of no-confidence, and a rape trial. South Africa’s Central Bank governor has now called for a public investigation into ties between Zuma, business leaders, and a family of Indian businessmen known as the Guptas.
One of Kenya's newly acquired standard gauge rail locomotives, carrying Kenyan President pulls into Voi railway station on May 31, 2017, in Voi. Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday inaugurated a Chinese-built railway, the country's biggest infrastructure project since independence that is aimed at cementing its role as the gateway to East Africa.(AFP)
One of Kenya's newly acquired standard gauge rail locomotives, carrying Kenyan President pulls into Voi railway station on May 31, 2017, in Voi. Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday inaugurated a Chinese-built railway, the country's biggest infrastructure project since independence that is aimed at cementing its role as the gateway to East Africa.(AFP)

The power of China’s chequebook shows in its rising global influence

UPDATED ON SEP 25, 2017 10:00 AM IST
Whether it is in Asia, Africa or Europe, China is using investment to get what it wants from countries and governments in need
From left, French President Emmanuel Macron, US President Donald Trump, EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, British Prime Minister Theresa May, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Italy, May 26, 2017(AP)
From left, French President Emmanuel Macron, US President Donald Trump, EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, British Prime Minister Theresa May, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Italy, May 26, 2017(AP)

Is it too early to get optimistic about the European Union?

UPDATED ON AUG 12, 2017 09:35 PM IST
Germany under Angela Merkel and France under Emmanuel Macron are the bright spots, while developments in Italy, Turkey and Poland give cause for concern
No issue better illustrates the power of US states to set their own agendas than climate change. Here is a ‘problem without borders’ that can’t be addressed without cooperation from the US, which remains the second largest emitter of greenhouse gasses after China(AFP)
No issue better illustrates the power of US states to set their own agendas than climate change. Here is a ‘problem without borders’ that can’t be addressed without cooperation from the US, which remains the second largest emitter of greenhouse gasses after China(AFP)

On climate change, immigration, federal states can oppose Trump’s ‘America First’

UPDATED ON JUL 13, 2017 04:31 PM IST
The Trump administration’s often rejectionist ‘America First’ approach to the rest of the world has given a new urgency for federal states and big cities in the US to strengthen ties with foreign governments, on issues like tackling climate change
French President Emmanuel Macron, U.S. President Donald Trump, EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, British Prime Minister Theresa May, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at a G7 meeting(AP)
French President Emmanuel Macron, U.S. President Donald Trump, EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, British Prime Minister Theresa May, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at a G7 meeting(AP)

Who is the next leader of the free world, now that the US is not?

UPDATED ON JUN 20, 2017 04:10 PM IST
Who is leader of the free world today? Not Trump, the first US president since the 1930s who does not believe that international leadership is in the US national interest. Is it Europe? China?
Sanctions won’t change minds in Pyongyang, because the leadership pays no political price for hardship imposed on the North Korean people, and because they help Kim Jong-un’s government persuade them that outsiders want to destroy them.(AFP)
Sanctions won’t change minds in Pyongyang, because the leadership pays no political price for hardship imposed on the North Korean people, and because they help Kim Jong-un’s government persuade them that outsiders want to destroy them.(AFP)

As North Korea grows more aggressive, Trump will have to figure out ways to handle it

PUBLISHED ON MAY 24, 2017 01:28 PM IST
Given claims of North Korea and Kim Jong-un having developed intercontinental ballistic missiles and nuclear warheads, Donald Trump will have to be very careful in dealing with the country
A supporter holds a poster to support Marine Le Pen, French National Front leader and candidate for French presidential election, during a political rally in Perpignan(Reuters)
A supporter holds a poster to support Marine Le Pen, French National Front leader and candidate for French presidential election, during a political rally in Perpignan(Reuters)

A Le Pen presidency could lead to a financial disaster in France, EU

UPDATED ON APR 17, 2017 10:28 PM IST
Le Pen might not have majority support, but her voters seem much more motivated than those of any of her rivals. Last November, Donald Trump won support from just 26% of eligible US voters. Given the lukewarm support for Hillary Clinton and the decision by millions of Americans to stay home, Trump’s passionate 26% proved just enough for victory
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