10 International Stories to Watch for in 2012

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Democracy, war, and transition in what is likely to be another historic year in world affairs

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After the world-shaking events of 2011, of which the Arab Spring was the dominant but far from lone history-making story, it's as impossible as it is irresistible to predict what 2012 might bring. Many of the Arab Spring movements are still ongoing,

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and while their trajectories are far easier to predict than were the initial uprisings, many could still go in several directions. What could become nascent popular movements in Russia and possibly even China have the potential to shift how two of the world's largest countries govern. Europe is on the verge of either an historic step toward unification or a disastrous breakup. And uncertainty in Pakistan, North Korea, and elsewhere could, if they devolve, dominate much of the next year. Whatever happens, it will be interesting.

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Max Fisher is a former writer and editor at The Atlantic.

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