Ten Problems for Geopolitics in the 2020s

Booklet updated on 9 Jul 2022, now on sale as version 2.0

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Literature Review: Geopolitics Problems for the 2020s

The Euro-Atlantic area is not at peace. The Russian Federation has violated the norms and principles that contributed to a stable and predictable European security order. We cannot discount the possibility of an attack against Allies’ sovereignty and territorial integrity. Strategic competition, pervasive instability and recurrent shocks define our broader security environment. The threats we face are global and interconnected. Authoritarian actors challenge our interests, values and democratic way of life. They are investing in sophisticated conventional, nuclear and missile capabilities, with little transparency or regard for international norms and commitments [1].

Iceland remains the most peaceful country in the world, a position it has held since 2008. It is joined at the top of the index by New Zealand, Ireland, Denmark and Austria. Afghanistan is the least peaceful country in the world for the fifth consecutive year, followed by Yemen, Syria, Russia and South Sudan. All of these countries have been among the ten least peaceful countries for the last three years. Unsurprisingly, two of the five countries with the largest deteriorations in peacefulness were Russia and Ukraine, they were joined by Guinea, Burkina Faso and Haiti. All of these deteriorations were due to ongoing conflict. Europe is the most peaceful region in the world, where seven of the ten countries most peaceful countries are located [2].

The Russian Federation and Ukraine are among the most important producers of agricultural commodities in the world. Both countries are net exporters of agricultural products and are leading suppliers of foodstuffs and fertilizers to global markets, where exportable supplies are often concentrated in a handful of countries. The high concentrations could increase the vulnerability of these markets to shocks and volatility. In Ukraine, the current war raises concerns over whether crops will be harvested. It has already led to the closures of ports and oilseed crushing operations, affecting products intended for the export markets. These are taking a toll on the country’s exports of grains and vegetable oils. Russian export prospects are also uncertain, given the economic and financial sanctions imposed on the country [3].

Starting from such general references, this booklet identifies ten relevant issues, as put forward at academic level in the form of recent journal articles, conference proceedings or students’ theses. Four freely accessible internet references have been selected for each issue and direct links are provided at the end of each chapter for own consultation. Our references neither intend to mirror ranking indexes nor establish novel classifications. On the contrary, they are meant to represent peer-reviewed, scientifically-sound case studies for dissemination aimed at non-specialist readers. They will also offer even more references through their own bibliography list.

Without further ado, these are the “Ten Problems for Geopolitics in the 2020s” that we are going to introduce in this booklet:

  1. liberalism,
  2. democracy,
  3. authoritarianism,
  4. globalization,
  5. populism,
  6. immigration,
  7. minorities,
  8. international relations,
  9. instability,
  10. peace.

Each problem has its own dedicated chapter made of an introduction, a snippet from the 1st edition of this booklet, a short presentation of four new case studies, a conclusions section and the references list with links.

The final chapter of this booklet will report the conclusions from each chapter, again, in order to provide a complete executive summary.


[1] North Atlantic Treaty Organization. NATO 2022 Strategic Concept. Adopted by Heads of State and Government at the NATO Summit in Madrid 29 June 2022.

[2] Institute for Economics & Peace. Global Peace Index 2022: Measuring Peace in a Complex World, Sydney, June 2022.

[3] Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Information Note – The importance of Ukraine and the Russian Federation for global agricultural markets and the risks associated with the war in Ukraine. FAO. Rome, 2022.

Geopolitics problems
“Ten Problems for Geopolitics in the 2020s” booklet for Amazon Kindle, 2022; click on the cover to go to the dedicated Amazon listing page

By TenProblems

Literature Reviews for Inquisitive Minds