GZERO Media logo

Demand For Radical Change

Demand For Radical Change

Willis' big story of 2018: "Throw the bums out."

  • Germany struggled to form a government as support for its dominant parties continued to slide, and then the ruling party nudged Chancellor Angela Merkel toward the exit.

  • Mexico elected its first leftist president in eight decades, a man leading a party he created just four years ago.
  • Pakistan pushed aside the Bhutto and Sharif political dynasties to elect a charismatic former cricketer leading his own party.
  • Sweden's dominant center-left party drew its lowest vote share in 100 years. Three months after elections, Sweden closes 2018 without a government.

There's nothing new about incumbents losing elections, and the sources of anger that prompt demands for change vary widely from one place to another. But 2018 saw establishment parties of all kinds, entrenched for decades, tossed off a cliff in favor of wildcard candidates.

His big question for 2019: What happens if leaders elected to bring sweeping change fail to deliver?

France had no national elections this year, but the reformist President Emmanuel Macron's 23 percent approval rating and recent nationwide protests signal the French public isn't happy with the country's direction. The upheaval began with an announced increase in fuel taxes, but fast-expanding demonstrations quickly exposed broader grievances.

Just as Britain's leaders struggle to deliver Brexit and Donald Trump's approval ratings stand at 38 percent, those elected this year on extravagant promises of change face formidable odds against delivering anytime soon. We've learned over the past decade that public protests and their impact are nearly impossible to forecast. What begins as anger over bus fare increases in Sao Paulo or commercial real estate development in Istanbul or land requisition outside Addis Ababa can quickly form the eye of a powerful political storm.

Change will always be easier to promise than to deliver, and public anger may continue to build.

Empathy and listening are key to establishing harmonious relationships, as demonstrated by Callista Azogu, GM of Human Resources & Organization for Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC), an Eni subsidiary in Abuja. "To build trust is very difficult. To destroy it is very easy," says Callista, whose busy days involve everything from personnel issues to union relationships. She sees great potential for her native Nigeria not only because of the country's natural resources, but because of its vibrant and creative people.

Learn more about Callista in this episode of Faces of Eni.

For the world's wealthiest nations, including the United States, the rollout of COVID-19 vaccine has been rocky, to say the least. And as a result, much of the developing world will have to wait even longer for their turn. Part of the challenge, World Bank President David Malpass says, is that "advanced economies have reserved a lot of the vaccine doses." Malpass sat down with Ian Bremmer recently to talk about what his organization is doing to try to keep millions around the world from slipping deeper into poverty during the pandemic. Their conversation was part of the latest episode of GZERO World.

Saturday will mark the beginning of an historic turning point for European politics as 1,001 voting members of Germany's Christian Democratic Union, the party of Chancellor Angela Merkel, hold an online conference to elect a new leader.

Here are the basic facts:

More Show less

For the first time in twenty years, extreme poverty around the world is growing. How does the developing world recover from a pandemic that has brought even the richest nations to their knees? David Malpass, the President of the World Bank, is tasked with answering that question. He joins Ian Bremmer on GZERO World to talk about how his organization is trying to keep the developing world from slipping further into poverty in the wake of a once-in-a-century pandemic.

Joe Biden wants to move into the White House, but the coast isn't clear. He may need some bleach.

Watch more PUPPET REGIME here.

The GZERO World Podcast with Ian Bremmer. Listen now.


Subscribe to GZERO Media's Newsletter: Signal