The World This Year: Return of the leaderless protest, NATO's 'brain death', the Greta effect
Issued on: Modified:
2019 has been a year of protests around the world: from France, with the most recent demonstrations against Macron's pension reform and the leaderless Yellow Vest protests; to Chile and Hong Kong, with a mix of social and political grievances. It proved contagious: in the Arab world, leaderless movements brought down not one but two longtime strongmen in Algeria and Sudan. In Lebanon, ordinary citizens are rejecting systems built on sectarian power-sharing. They are also fed up with mismanagement and corruption.
Meanwhile, 2019 was a year of challenges amongst NATO members. Especially with French President Emmanuel Macron evoking NATO's "brain death" and with the Turkish incursion into northeastern Syria. It was a triumphant Recep Tayyip Erdogan who was welcomed to the White House. Two weeks before a NATO summit in London, Donald Trump had gifted him a partial withdrawal from Syria.
In India, 2019 was the year the world's largest democracy re-elected Narendra Modi. In his first term, Modi promised to put toilets before temples and work on development. But a February suicide attack targeting Indian security forces in disputed Kashmir changed the tone. After that, it was identity politics all the way and since with parliament approving the Citizenship Amendment Act, which offers a path to citizenship for immigrants from neighbouring states - so long as they are not Muslim.
Finally, our panel of journalists tell us who they think is their "person of the year", after climate activist Greta Thunberg was named Time Person of the Year 2019.
Produced by Alessandro Xenos, Juliette Laurain and Ariana Mozafari.
Daily news briefReceive essential international news every morningSubscribe