For the next two weeks, MJPS will be publishing feature pieces analyzing the most important political events of the year. From January 2017 to the present, several major political events have transpired that indicate the rise of new political trends. In a year where political media has been dominated by Trump’s antics, MJPS looks beyond the White House and seeks to cover a diverse range of transformative events from across the world.

In May 2017, centrist Emmanuel Macron defeated far-right candidate Marine Le Pen in the French elections, defying the trend of far-right populism that has recently swept the Western world. Last August, the Arakhan Rohingya Salvation Army struck police outposts in the Rakhine province of Myanmar, prompting violent retaliation from the national military and plunging the newly-democratic country into a humanitarian crisis.

A Rohingya refugee in a camp in the Rakhine Province of Myanmar. Photo by Mathias Eick for EU Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations. Via Flickr Creative Commons.

The Islamic State was militarily defeated in Iraq and Syria in November 2017, bringing fragile hope to a war-torn region that the rest of the international community must now work hard to preserve. This past February, the Chinese constitution was revised to abolish term limits, ensuring President Xi Jinping’s rule for well into the future and paving the way for China’s continued rise as a superpower. Just last month, Vladimir Putin won another term as president, consolidating his rule and all but guaranteeing bold Russian power plays in the foreseeable future.

Xi Jinping, President of China. Photo by Michel Temer for Global Panorama, via Flickr Creative Commons.

Some clear patterns have emerged; worrying indications of democratic decay, political instability, and fragile transitions. Whether the events in question are a sign of hope or a sign of alarm, they are undoubtedly critical for the future of politics. Although this list is by no means complete or exhaustive, MJPS endeavours to explore significant political events with major implications for the international political system. By reviewing the past and present and analyzing emerging trends, we hope to contribute to the greater understanding of the political future and help our readers navigate the changes to come.