In 2022, the US-China relationship went through several important shifts. First, the China-Russia relationship took on greater importance for US strategy, as the United States sought to ensure that Chinese backing for Moscow translated into as little practical support as possible. US policy towards Russia was also crafted with specific reference to the potential application of the measures pursued – such as financial sanctions – towards China too.
2022 was a tough year for the global economy and economic governance. Just when the global economy was starting to recover from the Covid pandemic, Russia invaded Ukraine and geopolitical frictions intensified. The world is now facing a triple crisis as a result: an energy price crisis, a food crisis, and a financial crisis. This comes on top of the health and climate crises. There are major uncertainties surrounding policy.
2022 was a year of war and inflation. Russia’s aggression against Ukraine was largely unforeseen. A rebound of pent-up demand from the pandemic, supply bottlenecks, and skyrocketing energy prices spiralled inflation to around 10% in advanced countries, an inconceivable level since inflation-targeting monetary regimes were introduced in the early 1990s.
In 2023 we might see positive economic surprises in Europe (absent an escalation of the war): better-than-expected growth and lower-than-expected inflation.
On November 8, Americans will be called to vote for a variety of federal, State, and local offices. The entire House of Representatives, one third of the Senate, and 36 gubernatorial seats will also be on the ballot. The outcome of the 2022 midterm elections won’t just have a major impact on the remaining two years of Joe Biden's presidency.
After four turbulent years in the transatlantic partnership under President Trump, the Biden administration aspired to rebuild trust among its allies. Under the slogan “America is back” President Biden and senior officials not only emphasized their commitment to the transatlantic partnership but also proposed a future-oriented agenda to increase institutional innovation and resilience.
Almost exactly sixty years ago John F. Kennedy, a first-term Democratic president from the moderate wing of his party, campaigned across the country to prevent his party from losing control of Congress in the midterm elections. Kennedy had come under fire from the liberal wing of his party, and from African Americans marching for their civil rights, for being too timid in advocating for progressive change, but he was also under pressure from others in his party and beyond to revive a slowing economy.
The big question going into the 2022 midterm election is whether the Democrats, currently in control of the White House and Congress, can avoid the electoral dubbing that basic political conditions portend. Although midterms usually cost the president’s party seats in Congress, the extent of the damage varies widely, with seat swings ranging from +8 to -64 in the House (average, -27), and +3 to -13 in the Senate (average, -4) over the 19 postwar midterms.
Since its creation during the 1820s, the Democratic Party has always been a broad coalition of partners with little in common, at least demographically. During the nineteenth century, it brought together white Southerners, rich and poor and nearly all Protestant, with Catholic wage-earners from the industrial North. Until two-thirds of the way through the twentieth century, Democrats retained the loyalty of most whites from Dixie – who abhorred racial equality – while gradually winning over Black and Hispanic voters too.
Nancy Pelosi’s unexpected visit to Taiwan on August 2-3 and the immediate reaction of China’s People’s Liberation Army represents the worst crisis across the Taiwan Strait since 1995.
The war in Ukraine is further diverting US attention from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region where Russia and China have expanded their footprint over the past decade. US President Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s upcoming visit to the Middle East—his first since he took office—provides an opportunity to assess the kind of role the United States will play in the MENA region in the future. The big question is whether the region is entering a post-US era and how the new regional order will be structured.
Russia’s war in Ukraine is impacting security dynamics in the Middle East, exposing fissures and fragile fault lines across the region. These divides, which are not new, have been gradually widening as a result of regional competition and security challenges emerging from the shifting global order. This process has unfolded over the course of three US presidencies—Barack Obama, Donald J. Trump, and Joseph R.
President Joe Biden’s upcoming visit to the Middle East will seek to reassure regional allies at a time when the dominant narrative about the US role in the region, promulgated by Arab capitals, is that the United States is withdrawing from the Middle East and abandoning its allies and security commitments.