Europe’s economic unraveling will be matched by a new political geography. The continent is already seeing a reshuffling of its elite, as the traditional political forces in many countries – from Greece to Italy to Finland to Austria – find themselves besieged by an emerging anti-political class of populists from left and right. There is also a renegotiation of the relationship between the “core” and the “periphery” – with many EU member states, including larger nations such as the UK, Poland and Spain, deeply concerned that integration is forcing them to the periphery of the European project…

The Middle East could also become divided like never before in 2013. In the past two years we have seen political action unite the Arab world with an “awakening” that has spread from capital to capital through social media, satellite television and the infectious promise of change. But the story of the year ahead will focus more on the splits…

A story with enormous global resonance is the growing tension between a strong Chinese society and a weak Chinese state, as it drives the new Asia apart. Many in the Chinese elite think their country needs to enter a new era of political and economic change. After Mao’s political revolution (China 1.0) and Deng Xiaoping’s economic revolution (China 2.0), they are calling for a major re-orientation toward a China 3.0.

Now that China’s populace is becoming increasingly affluent, how does the state deal with issues like growing inequality, the need to rebalance its economy and its increasing exposure to the global economy?