In 2019 the cards will be laid on the table. A great deal is at stake: the future of the international order’s institutions, and the democracy, dignity and social and labour rights many societies considered secure or took for granted. We will learn how powerful is the offensive to erode these principles, and how agile and creative is the capacity to resist. But opportunities will arise amid the fray. These are old battles but they have new protagonists and new ideas.
The game will be played at various levels: between the major powers, between different conceptions of the international order, and between distinct ideas about society. The third of these contests will take on greater importance if forms of positive resistance to the advocates of withdrawal, hard-line approaches and self-interest are consolidated: principal among them are feminism – a major transformative force – digital activism, and the pride certain urban spaces take in their open, diverse and connected societies. The game will not end in 2019, but it will be a time to take positions and to define alliances and strategies. The importance of this year will not be determined by the end result of this confrontation but by the confirmation that basic elements of global progress are at stake. In 2019 it’s back to basics.