Dec 20, 2017 | 08:00 GMT
The Year That Was 2017


The year 2017 opened with a new U.S. president, and alarmism about the path Donald Trump would take.
The year 2017 opened with a new U.S. president, and alarmism about the path Donald Trump would take.(iStock)

global-warming alarmism:地球温暖化をことさら[必要以上に]騒ぎ立てること

We would not be doing our jobs correctly if we only forecast the year ahead. Quite simply, we must be rigorous in examining the past, and that means taking a hard look at how well we did in determining the major trends of the year gone by. In every respect, 2017 was particularly unique because of the questions — and alarmism — surrounding the inauguration of U.S. President Donald Trump. Would the world see a dramatic warming of U.S. relations with Russia that would leave many Western allies in the lurch? Would a massive trade war break out between the United States and China? Would the Iran nuclear deal be torn up? These were all questions we sought to address as we pondered the changing dynamics of the global system. What follows are some of our key deductions, alongside honest appraisals of what we got right and wrong.

rigorous:〈分析・詳細などが〉厳密な; 〈検査・手順などが〉厳格な, 厳重な
lurch:(乗り物などの)突然の傾き[揺れ]; 動揺, 驚き
deductions:推論; ≪…という/…からの≫ 推論による結果[結論]
appraisals:評価; 鑑定, 価値判断.

Personality Doesn't Always Drive Policy
Our forecasting methodology emphasizes the importance of the constraining factors that shape state behavior. We also, for good reason, downplay the personality traits and policy whims of any one leader. This approach led us to assert that even as "the United States will have more room to selectively impose trade barriers with China, particularly in the metals sector, … the time is not right for a trade dispute." We also maintained that U.S. threats to label China a currency manipulator were unlikely to materialize. Our more tempered forecast on trade has so far proved accurate.

Personality:人格, 人柄, 性格; 個性, 人間的魅力
constraining:を束縛する 制約する
downplay:(実際より)…を控えめに言う[思わせる]; …を過少評価する(play A down).
traits:personality [character] traits 性格上の特徴, 個性
whims:気まぐれ, むら気; (ふとした)思いつき, 出来心
tempered:和らげられた; (鋼鉄が)鍛えられた; 〘楽〙調律された.

The United States did unilaterally impose selective trade measures against China, but a great deal of restraint was exercised on both sides to avoid a broader trade war that would have had a deeply destabilizing effect on the global economy. And though a unilateral pullout from the North American Free Trade Agreement still cannot be ruled out — especially as political constraints mount on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border — we are sticking to our 2017 assessment. In short, the imperative of North American economic integration will likely endure in spite of the friction that comes with trying to modernize and revise the trade pact.

ruled out:〈行動・考えなど〉を認めない.
imperative:命令; 義務; 緊急になすべきこと, 急務
endure:耐える, 我慢する.

Trump's victory led to much speculation in early 2017 over whether the United States would pursue a meaningful rapprochement with Russia and forsake its NATO allies. We cut through the hype in our 2017 forecast when we stated, "As Washington appears more willing to negotiate with Moscow on some issues, the United States still has every reason to contain Russian expansion, so it will maintain, through NATO, a heavy military presence on Russia's European frontier." The thrust of the forecast was correct, and the United States has maintained its imperative to contain Russia.

speculation:推測, 憶測, 思索, 考察(guess)
rapprochement:≪…との/2国間の≫ 和解, 関係改善; 親交樹立
forsake:〈家族・友人など〉を見捨てる, 見限る(abandon)
cut through:切り開く
hype:誇大宣伝[広告] いんちき, ごまかし
thrust:要点, 主眼, 主旨

However, we believed when writing the forecast that a potential move by the U.S. president to unilaterally repeal some Russian sanctions could provide Moscow with some relief, helped by cracks in Europe over whether to maintain existing sanctions. Instead, the intensification of a U.S. investigation into Russian ties to the Trump campaign team — along with the uncovering of details on Russia's election meddling in the United States and Europe — simply made it too costly for the U.S. administration to follow through with Trump's promise to start lifting sanctions. Indeed, the institutional constraints on the president came into full view when the Congress passed legislation specifically designed to tie the president's hands on this issue.

repeal:〈法律など〉を廃止[撤回]する, 無効にする.
cracks:割れ目, 裂け目, ひび
intensification:強化, 激化, 増大.
come into full view:完全に姿を現す
institutional constraint:制度上の制約

Who's In and Who's Out in Europe
Meanwhile, across the Atlantic, we emphasized the role that Euroskepticism and anti-establishment sentiment would play in the pivotal French presidential election. We did, in fact, see that sentiment manifest in strong performances by the far-right National Front and also by the left-wing, led by Jean-Luc Melenchon. Still, it was impossible to foresee that a scandal embroiling Francois Fillon would destroy the center-right's campaign and create space for a young moderate such as Emmanuel Macron to emerge victorious in the end.

pivotal:中枢の, 中心的な; 重要な.
sentiment:感情, 意見, 考え方; (美的)情操, 情緒
manifest:〈感情・態度など〉をはっきりと出す [示す]

Though we had discussed the notion internally, we didn't include in the forecast the idea that, in European elections, a reaction to the blunt form of populism and nationalism had taken root across the Atlantic. The Macron win and his agenda to promote EU integration while promoting French competitiveness ended up buying the European Union valuable time to try to reform itself. But the chasm between Germany and France over just how to reform the bloc is as wide as ever going into 2018.

blunt:blunt criticism 遠慮のない批評
take root:〔植物が〕根付く、活着する
chasm:(意見・考えなどの)大きな隔たり, 食い違い 

When it came to the German election, we correctly assessed that the electorate would be willing to support emerging parties on the right and the left and how that support would undermine the traditional parties, leading to a fragmented Bundestag and messy coalition talks. There was also a lot of wishful thinking at the end of 2016 by Brexit pundits claiming that the United Kingdom might not end up following through with the divorce, or would at least soften the terms significantly. We correctly asserted that an early British election would only delay — not derail — the Brexit process and that the United Kingdom would take the bold decision to leave the EU single market, attempting instead to negotiate a new free trade agreement with the European Union.


The Three I's: Iran, Iraq and the Islamic State
Our forecast on the Middle East was largely on point. We forecast that the Iranian nuclear deal would be threatened and that Russia-Iran ties would strengthen as a result, but that the deal would not collapse in 2017. (Going into 2018, however, the U.S.-Iran confrontation is bound to escalate.) We also asserted that the core of the Islamic State would be severely degraded but that a resolution to the Syrian civil war would remain out of reach. We specifically highlighted how the fall of Mosul would further divide Iraq's Kurds and lead to a battle over the oil-rich city of Kirkuk.

bound:きっと…する, …するはずだ(certain, sure)
out of reach of:(人)の手の届かない、(人)の力の及ばない

A Central Asian Turnabout
Central Asia, meanwhile, showed that when enough counterevidence builds, it can force a re-evaluation of long-running trends. In 2017 we stated: "Instability, as is so often the case, will plague Central Asia in 2017. Such is the hallmark of a region marked by weak economies, the near constant threat of militant attacks and uncertain political transitions, which include the replacement of long-serving Uzbek leader Islam Karimov, who died in September, a looming succession in Kazakhstan, and presidential elections in Kyrgyzstan." The unfortunate choice of the word "plague" was overly dramatic considering that Uzbekistan's new leader, President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, has had a relatively smooth first year in power. And Kazakhstan appears set to undergo a stable transition once Nursultan Nazarbayev, its long-serving leader, steps down or passes away.

Turnabout:方向転換; (政策・思想などの)転向, 寝返り.
overly:過度に, あまりにも, 極端に

Though these Central Asian countries still face a host of risks — from their vulnerable economies, internal radicalization and militancy, and demographic pressures — they have taken lessons from previous crises to manage their political transitions in a more orderly fashion than we anticipated. This matters because greater instability in Central Asia could draw China and Russia into more visible competition.

Looking Inward
On that note, there are several points that we wish we had emphasized more strongly. We have long pointed to deepening collaboration between Russia and China. Indeed, we indicated how Russia would attempt to exploit the heightened crisis over North Korea and Moscow's slow-moving negotiations with Japan to try to weaken the United States' network of allies in the region. While we highlighted greater Sino-Russian collaboration in energy, defense and cyber technology in the forecast, we should have given more attention to the informal alliance developing between Moscow and Beijing in challenging the United States. Likewise, we said that North Korea would carry out additional nuclear tests and that Beijing would avoid significant sanctions pressure on Pyongyang, but the North Korea issue overall deserved a much more prominent focus in the forecast given the amount of attention it absorbed in 2017.

As a year, 2017 also served as an important reminder of the difficulty in timing the outbreak of conflict. We failed to include in our annual forecast the potential for a China-India military standoff at Doklam, given that New Delhi and Beijing generally take great care to manage their relationship at a political level. As it turned out, the slow buildup of infrastructure on both sides of the contested border threatened to eventually trigger a confrontation. When the Doklam standoff did break out in June, however, we rapidly applied our geopolitical framework to the tactical military constraints defining the standoff and confidently and correctly forecast that the border crisis would not lead to a conventional war between the Asian giants.


The Nigerian love of board games
Scrabble, Monopoly and chess let Nigerians indulge their competitive and intellectual sides away from the hustle of everyday life
Dec 21st 2017by R.S. | LAGOS


board game:ボードゲーム◆盤を使ってするゲーム
Scrabble:取り合い, 争奪.
hustle:hustle and bustle of a city《the 〜》都会の喧騒

WHEN it comes to Scrabble, Nigerians are on top of their game. In November they retained the team title at the world championships in Nairobi. They boast more top-100 players than any other country. But the impact of board games in Africa’s most populous country goes beyond these world-class Scrabble-meisters. Board games are played across Nigeria, from indigenous games like ayo that make use of counters or pebbles (mancala is a similar game in the United States), to chess and Monopoly. 

the social impact of science:科学の社会的影響

It is impossible to quantify how many Nigerians play board games, but there is no doubt that they are more popular in the better-educated south. Prince Anthony Ikolo, the coach of Nigeria’s national Scrabble team, estimates that 4,000 Scrabblers play in more than 100 clubs around the country (compared with around 2,000-2,500 members in 152 clubs in America and Canada together). The Niger Delta states and Lagos are home to many of the country’s Scrabble champions. Wellington Jighere, who won the world championship in 2015, is from the oil-rich city of Warri, which is particularly renowned for producing world-class players. 

renowned: 著名な, 名声ある(famous)

On the national tournament circuit, cash prizes can reach $10,000. Prestigious schools have chess and Scrabble teams, and there are university tournaments. Lagos, the country’s teeming commercial capital, got its own Monopoly board in 2012. The property-buying game was made an official sport in Lagos state in 2016. In September that year, more than 1,200 students competed for the top prize of a 600,000 naira (now worth $1,662) education grant, in the process breaking a world record for the number of students playing Monopoly. 

Board games are mainly a middle-class pursuit, although Ludo, draughts and their ilk are also popular among the less educated. Many Nigerians have a competitive streak: the country’s unofficial motto, “Naija no dey carry last,” can be roughly translated as “Nigerians strive to finish first.” Those with an intellectual bent therefore often relish challenging others at Monopoly or Scrabble. Many say their skills were nurtured during long holidays and evenings without regular electricity, by parents who were keen for their offspring to spend time “IQ building” rather than idling. 

pursuit:娯楽 hobby
ilk:種類, 型; 同類.
streak:【好ましくない性格などの】傾向, 徴候, …気味 ≪of≫ have a mean streak. 意地悪なところがある.
relish:relish the thought of going home 帰省することを考えてうれしくなる
a youth with a literary bent:文学少年

Board games also allow Nigerians to focus on something other than the daily wahala, a word for trouble or stress (be it watching the hours tick by in urban traffic jams, appeasing a corrupt policeman or finding the money to keep the family generator running). And in a country where millions of Evangelical Christians follow a prosperity gospel and wealth is often idolised, Monopoly can temporarily allow Nigerians to indulge their fantasies. 

appeasing:(要求などに応じて)〈人〉をなだめる; 〈反発など〉を鎮める; 〈相手〉に譲歩する.
prosperity:繁栄; (経済面での)成功, 幸運
idolised:を偶像化する, 偶像視する; …に心酔する.



swingby_blog at 17:13コメント(0) 


  情報を記憶: 評価:  顔   星



海野 恵一



Swingby 最新イベント情報
海野塾のイベントはFacebookのTeamSwingbyを参照ください。 またスウィングバイは以下のところに引っ越しました。 スウィングバイ株式会社 〒108-0023 東京都港区芝浦4丁目2−22東京ベイビュウ803号 Tel: 080-9558-4352 Fax: 03-3452-6690 E-mail: clyde.unno@swingby.jp Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/clyde.unno 海野塾: https://www.facebook.com TeamSwingby

Recent Comments
  • 今日:
  • 累計:


社長ブログ ブログランキングへ