Strategic Survey 2021: The Annual Assessment of Geopolitics provides objective, in-depth analysis by leading experts of the events, actors and forces driving international relations. It is the indispensable guide for policymakers, business leaders, analysts and academics who need to understand the geopolitical and geo-economic trends shaping the global agenda in 2022 and beyond.

    Key features

    · Comprehensive annual review of world affairs from the International Institute for Strategic Studies, the leading international research institute that provides objective analysis of military, geopolitical and geo-economic developments that could lead to conflict.

    · Covers developments in all regions as well as emerging issues and trends not yet on most radars, and analyses the major themes and forces shaping each continent.

    · Essays on a comprehensive range of global issues including vaccine diplomacy, digital conflict, Europe’s emerging Asia-Pacific strategies, the rise of carbon neutrality, the prospects for Iran’s nuclear programme, and the future of political Islam.

    · Drivers of Strategic Change for major states: Verified, comparable data on state power that provides a rich and vivid guide to forces underlying geopolitical change.

    · Data-rich graphics and maps that provide fresh insights into geopolitical change, and a timeline of the key events of 2020–21.


    · Editor’s Introduction

    · Drivers of Strategic Change

    KEY EVENTS 2020–21



    · How Have Global Power and Influence Shifted?

    · Vaccine Diplomacy: How is global politics shaping the fight against COVID-19?

    · Digital Conflicts: Higher intensity, inadequate responses

    · European Geo-economic Strategies towards the Indo-Pacific: Diversifying engagement to enhance resilience?

    · The Rise of Carbon Neutrality: Is the new optimism justified?


    · Drivers of Strategic Change

    · 2020–21 Review

    · US–China Relations: A game of two halves

    · America’s Crisis of Democracy: Is the country governable?

    · Trump’s Legacy for America’s National-Security Institutions: Can the damage be repaired?


    · Drivers of Strategic Change

    · 2020–21 Review

    · Taiwan: A front line in the new cold war?

    · South Korea’s Foreign Policy: Local or global?

    · India–China Border Tensions: What are the strategic implications for the Indo-Pacific?

    · The Biden Administration’s South Asia Policy: Change or continuity?


    · Drivers of Strategic Change

    · 2020–21 Review

    · Britain and the European Union After Brexit: How far is Brexit really 'done'?

    · The Reality of EU Defence Capabilities


    · Drivers of Strategic Change

    · 2020–21 Review

    · A Belarusian Spring in Autumn: How much has changed, and what next?

    · The Changing Security Landscape of the South Caucasus: A new Armenia–Azerbaijan war

    · Uzbekistan: Testing the Mirziyoyev Agenda: How are domestic reforms and more cooperative diplomacy faring?


    · Drivers of Strategic Change

    · 2020–21 Review

    · Restoring the Iran Nuclear Deal: Can Iran’s nuclear hedging be constrained by diplomacy, or merely legitimised?

    · The Abraham Accords: How important are they?

    · The Future of Islamic Insurgencies: Have they passed their peak?


    · Drivers of Strategic Change

    · 2020–21 Review

    · Sudan’s Slow-Motion Revolution: Will transition lead to stability and growth?

    · Ethiopia’s Conflict in Tigray: Will the centre hold?

    · France’s African Intervention: Is Gulliver tied up in the Sahel?


    · Drivers of Strategic Change

    · 2020–21 Review

    · The Crisis of Mass Emigration from Venezuela: How severe and what can be done?

    · Alberto Fernández’s Challenges in a Pandemic World: Can Argentina put populism and defaults behind it?

    · Militarisation in Mexico: Many risks and few rewards?



    The International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) is an independent centre for research, information and debate on the problems of conflict, however caused, that have, or potentially have, an important military content. The staff of the Institute is international in composition, and IISS work is international in its perspective and reach. The Institute is independent and stresses rigorous fact-based research with a forward-looking policy orientation that can improve wider public understanding of international security problems and influence the development of sounder public policy, and more effective business decisions in the international arena.