The Four Horsemen of 2012

The year 2012 will be one of presidential elections, with four of the world’s most influential leaders on the campaign trail. In the midst of a global economic crisis, Vladimir Putin, Nicholas Sarkozy, Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Barack Obama will all be judged by their people – especially on economic issues. On the one hand, high unemployment rates and weak growth make reelection difficult for Obama and Sarkozy. Putin and Erdogan, on the other hand, have to confront the challenge of modernization and development. With the exception of Putin in Russia, reelection for the other three candidates is not a sure thing. Paradoxically, Putin is the only candidate to be contested in mass protests. It remains to be seen whether the protests will erode the near certainty of his election. Changes at helm of these countries (the US, France and Turkey) will undoubtedly shape their international role. For these reasons,
the international community will be watching closely to see if anyone has the right recipes for emerging out of the crisis.