Special Report: Leadership Transitions in 2012

2012 was a year of critical leadership transitions. Familiar faces who stayed on or returned to the scene — as in the U.S., Russia and Japan — were joined by new leaders in China, South Korea, France and Mexico. Elsewhere, transitions are incomplete, with question marks hanging over countries such as Venezuela and Ethiopia. This World Politics Review special report examines the world’s new and returning leaders through articles published in the past year.


U.S.

Obama’s Caretaker Presidency
By Nikolas Gvosdev
November 9, 2012

Obama Must Seize Opportunity for Bolder Foreign Policy
By Judah Grunstein
November 9, 2012

Obama Should Go Broad, not Bold, on Foreign Policy
By Nikolas Gvosdev
November 16, 2012

Asia

China’s Xi Signals Initial Priorities: Part I
By Iain Mills
December 17, 2012

China’s Xi Signals Initial Priorities: Part II
By Iain Mills
December 18, 2012

Despite Taiwan Ties, China’s Xi Likely to Maintain Cross-Strait Continuity
By Jens Kastner
November 12, 2012

China’s New Leadership Offers Little Hope of New Direction
By Iain Mills
November 29, 2012

For Japan’s Abe, Regional Realities Likely to Trump Hard-Line Rhetoric
By Jonathan Berkshire Miller
December 18, 2012

Japanese Election Reinforces U.S. Alliance
By Richard Weitz
December 18, 2012

South Korea’s New President Faces Regional Balancing Act
By Catherine Cheney
December 19, 2012

Presidential Election Shows Great Progress for Timor-Leste’s Democracy
Interview with Gordon Peake
March 27, 2012

Europe

In Russia, It’s Putin or the Deluge
By Nikolas Gvosdev
April 27, 2012

Sarkozy’s Legacy: Hollande and France’s Global Security Role
By Judah Grunstein
May 8, 2012

France’s Hollande Seeks Reset in Post-Arab Spring Maghreb
By Jonathan Laurence
October 3, 2012

Georgia’s Elections Mark Historic Step
By Richard Weitz
October 2, 2012

For Georgia’s Ivanishvili, Interests Will Guide Russia Policy
By Michael Cecire
October 8, 2012

After Serbia’s Presidential Surprise, Business as Usual
By Andrew MacDowall
May 30, 2012

Africa

Despite Gains, Ghana Must Remain Vigilant on Democracy
By Catherine Cheney
July 26, 2012

Ghana Contemplates Its Own Bush v. Gore in Poll Challenge
By Catherine Cheney
December 14, 2012

In Ethiopia, Post-Zenawi Void Could Create Opening for Reform
By Peter Dörrie
August 13, 2012

Senegal’s Democracy Passes Test, but Challenges Remain for Sall
By Catherine Cheney
March 27, 2012

Latin America

In Venezuela, a Victory for Chavez, But Not Chavismo
By Catherine Cheney
October 9, 2012

Despite Uncertainty, Venezuela’s Political Scenarios Not All Bleak
Jennifer McCoy, Michael McCarthy
December 20, 2012

Chavistas Prepare for a Post-Chávez Venezuela
By Frida Ghitis
December 20, 2012

Mexico’s Peña Nieto Will Have Trouble Keeping Reform Promises
By David Agren
July 16, 2012

Mexico’s Peña Nieto to Benefit From Calderón’s Foreign Policy Legacy
By Cory Siskind
July 5, 2012

Middle East

Egypt’s Election Leaves Islamists, Liberals Shaken
By Frida Ghitis
May 31, 2012

Why Liberals Won in Libya, and Why It Matters
By Frida Ghitis
July 19, 2012

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