We publish our 2020 Political Violence Special Edition, in collaboration with AXA XL, amid profound uncertainty about the geopolitical future.

While we know we are witnessing momentous security developments in many parts of the world, the dust is far from settled. From months of mass protests in Hong Kong, to the precarious peace in South Sudan, and the collapse of the Islamic State’s caliphate in the Middle East, several outcomes remain possible for many of last year’s most pivotal events. But arguably the most consequential political violence story of 2019 was not a political violence story at all.

Instead, it is the story of the dawning realisation that climate change, left unchecked, is likely to fundamentally destabilise our societies. And time is running out. Environmental degradation in 2019 drove mass protests, targeted activism and conflict over scarce resources across the globe. These will only intensify as the effects of climate change become more apparent. This is why we chose the environment as our theme for our 2020 Special Edition.