The new edition of Strategic Survey provides incisive analysis of the global political and security environment in the year to mid-2017.

Assessing the many alliances and strategic relationships that are coming under increasing strain, the book offers insights into the growing security threats and volatile domestic politics that now dominate relations between major powers. North Korea’s nuclear-weapons and missile programmes are proceeding at a troubling pace despite the expansion of punitive United Nations sanctions, pressure from Beijing and warnings from Washington. The presidency of Donald Trump is casting doubt on the United States’ commitment to the global trading system and decades-long alliances of which it is the chief architect and enforcer. The European Union remains preoccupied with internal challenges, not least increasing electoral volatility among its member states. Russia has reasserted itself as a major power in the Middle East and is conducting a wide-ranging information campaign to destabilise and deter its opponents in the West. Meanwhile, China is becoming increasingly extrovert and confident in its foreign policy, maintaining expansive territorial claims in the South China Sea and pursuing its economic interests through the Belt and Road Initiative. Amid proliferating threats and distractions, most major powers appear to have a declining capacity to shape the political and security environment in their favour.

Strategic Survey 2017: The Annual Assessment of Geopolitics examines political and security developments region by region. It includes essays on the future of the World Trade Organization; electoral disruption and the liberal order; urbanisation and violence; and the resurgence of information warfare. The Strategic Geography section includes maps on North Korea’s illicit economic network, constitutional change and conflict in Turkey, and the burgeoning food-security crisis. The Drivers of Strategic Change section identifies the developments in each region that have the potential to trigger, stoke or dampen conflicts; alter foreign policies and the regional order; or affect the security of large numbers of people.

IISS Director-General and Chief Executive Dr John Chipman delivered a strategic assessment of these global developments. This was followed by a question-and-answer session with IISS experts.

Read Dr John Chipman's remarks

Watch the full video recording of the launch below.

This event took place in the Lee Kuan Yew Conference Room at Arundel House, 6 Temple Place, London WC2R 2PG.


Dr John Chipman

John Chipman

Dr John Chipman CMG is Director-General and Chief Executive of The International Institute for Strategic Studies. He is Special Adviser to the Chairman of Reliance Industries (Mumbai), a member of the Board of Directors of private equity firm The Abraaj Group (Dubai) and consults widely.

Virginia Comolli

Virginia Comolli leads the Security and Development Programme, setting its research priorities and direction. She contributes to IISS research, represents the Institute at conferences internationally and in the media, and delivers briefings to government and corporate audiences.

Emile Hokayem

Emile Hokayem

Emile Hokayem is the Senior Fellow for Middle East Security at the International Institute for Strategic Studies. He specialises in political and conflict analysis, including the wars in Syria, Iraq and Yemen; relations between Iran and its Arab neighbours; and the rise of non-state actors, including jihadi groups and Hizbullah.

Niger Inkster 2

Nigel Inkster

Nigel Inkster has worked at the International Institute for Strategic Studies since 2007. His research portfolio at IISS has included transnational terrorism, insurgency, transnational organised crime, cyber security, intelligence and security and the evolving character of conflict.

Nicholas Redman Dr Nicholas Redman is Director of Editorial at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, overseeing the Institute’s large and highly regarded publications output. He is Editor of the Adelphi book series and Strategic Survey: The Annual Assessment of Geopolitics, and he directs the continued development of the Armed Conflict Database.

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Event details

Wednesday 20 September, 9.30–10.30am BST
Arundel House, London
Dr John Chipman, Director-General and Chief Executive, IISS
Virginia Comolli, Senior Fellow for Security and Development, IISS
Emile Hokayem, Senior Fellow for Middle East Security, IISS
Nigel Inkster, Special Adviser, IISS
Dr Nicholas Redman, Director of Editorial; Editor of Strategic Survey, IISS

Making sense of a year of fracture

For impartial analysis of the events of the year that shaped relations between major powers, the new edition of Strategic Survey is an essential read.