“10 Conflicts to Watch out for in 2024”- according to the International Crisis Group 


On January 24, IE University had the great pleasure of hosting an event featuring Comfort Eco, the president, and CEO of “The International Crisis Group” as the main speaker. This is a non-profit and non-governmental organization that was founded in 1995. It focuses on deadly violent crises, analyzing policymakers and academics.

Recently, a new program has been developed that will be centered around future conflicts. With the launch of the new program, a video was crafted showcasing “10 Conflicts to Watch Out for in 2024”, it demonstrated conflicts that may escalate and some others that may ignite a bigger crisis. 

Comfort Eco explained after playing the video how domestic retaliation drives foreign policy and the importance of not underestimating how a domestic issue may have international consequences. 

What were the main takeaways from the possible conflicts?

Mrs. Eco then discussed the US-China relationship and how this overshadows the position of other states and shapes their policies. The rest of the states will decide how to act based on the two superpowers. She affirms that no other country like China and the US has such a military capacity. This makes other states rely on them, for example, Eco refers to how Ukraine would not be intact without the help and support it has been receiving from the US. 

The balance of power was further discussed, there are state actors such as Iran that are trying to defy the US´s standing with the recent Houthis attacks. Following the analysis discussed by Eco. Iran is trying to show that they too have their resources and can be powerful. The Houthis are a group that has been launching drones and missiles to Israel to stop the attacks on Gaza. They have also taken a stand against the US due to their strong support of Israel. Mrs. Eco then spoke about how it would be interesting to see if these other powers trying to prove their standing in the international scene can therefore restrain the US. 

As Comfort Eco explained, “We have gone from intra to inter-state conflict with spillover effect, in addition to proxy wars.” The world stage is now facing new challenges where many countries have increased their GDP and are boosting their capacity for their defense industries. This has allowed other state actors also to take part in talks of the major superpowers and prove a certain posture. 

Moreover, the following was emphasized: “There is a crisis in peacekeeping, war is rising everywhere.” Several countries are now introducing their own mediators and leaders tend to be less constrained in their statements and actions. There are higher standards when negotiating and states are not prone to give up easily, an example would be the Russia-Ukraine war in which no side seems to be willing to give up.

The US has already said that the expenditure on supporting Ukraine cannot be maintained for much longer. Yet, Ukraine continues to fight every day and shows that it is standing up for its people and their ideals.

The video presented by the IGC is an informative way to see what lies ahead in 2024 and know what to expect. Some conflicts may escalate and others may dissuade but only time will tell. For now, as Mrs. Eco presented, people can learn and analyze from all these conflicts how the balance of power is shifting and how the world is entering a new era of peacekeeping and conflict resolution. One that requires different approaches and carefully executed decisions. 

Gabriela Gorodi
Gabriela Gorodi
Hey! I´m Gaby, I am a third-year law and international relations student with a passion for writing. My interests go from writing about international conflict to issues closer to our daily life that may be of interest. I was born in Spain however I grew up abroad and love learning about different cultures, traditions, and countries. Everyone has a story to share and I think that's pretty unique.

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