Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is seared into our memories of 2022, and experts expect the conflict to drag out well into this year.

But what other global flashpoints should we be concerned about as we head into 2023?

The monumental anti-government protests in Iran triggered by the death of Mahsa Amini have continued into their fourth month, and Griffith University’s Susan Harris Rimmer writes that the prospect of a peaceful resolution of this crisis in the near future is low.

Harris Rimmer also notes there are deep conflicts in countries including Haiti, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Syria, Yemen, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Such conflicts, coupled with overarching crises such as climate change, have prompted some experts to speak of an era of “polycrisis”, where armed conflicts combine with and exacerbate issues such as inflation, COVID and the energy crisis.

All this means Harris Rimmer warns 2023 is likely to be another turbulent year.

Liam Petterson

Deputy Politics Editor

Mad world: global flashpoints to watch in 2023 in the era of ‘polycrisis’

Susan Harris Rimmer, Griffith University

There are a range of new flashpoints and ongoing deadly conflicts the world has largely ignored due to the focus on Ukraine.

Democracy under attack in Brazil: 5 questions about the storming of Congress and the role of the military

Rafael R. Ioris, University of Denver

The sacking of key democratic institutions in Brasilia has parallels with the Jan. 6 assault on the US Capitol but was different in one key way: the position of the military.

Chubb review of Australia’s carbon credit scheme falls short – and problems will continue to fester

Andrew Macintosh, Australian National University; Don Butler, Australian National University

More must be done to ensure the Albanese government truly delivers the emissions reductions it has promised.

Why Pacific Islanders are staying put even as rising seas flood their homes and crops

Merewalesi Yee, The University of Queensland; Annah Piggott-McKellar, Queensland University of Technology; Celia McMichael, The University of Melbourne; Karen E McNamara, The University of Queensland

Residents are living with the impacts of climate change and know it’s happening. But leaving their homes would strike at the heart of their identity.

Ukraine war: why Russian soldiers’ mothers aren’t demonstrating the strong opposition they have in previous conflicts

Jennifer Mathers, Aberystwyth University; Natasha Danilova, University of Aberdeen

Opposition to the Ukrainian war from Russian soldiers’ mothers has so far been muted.

China’s COVID situation is dire – but it shouldn’t pose a big risk to other countries

Paul Hunter, University of East Anglia

China pursued COVID zero for too long and is now paying the price. But the rest of the world doesn’t have too much to worry about.

House speaker election: fight over Kevin McCarthy’s leadership has exposed limits of Trump’s power

Thomas Gift, UCL

House Republicans have finally elected a leader after 15 gruelling votes.

Secrecy, psychosis and difficult change: these lived experiences of mental illness will inspire a kaleidoscope of emotions

Jayashri Kulkarni, Monash University

Admissions, a varied collection by writers with lived experience of mental illness, is confronting, challenging, often surprising – and open to interpretation.

Are polishes, acrylics and powders bad for my fingernails? Do I need a breather between manicures?

Christian Moro, Bond University; Charlotte Phelps, Bond University

With a huge array of nail cosmetics to choose from, people are getting manicure makeovers on a regular basis. But do your nails need a holiday?

Science + Technology


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    Helen Harper, University of New England; Bronwyn Parkin, University of Adelaide; Pauline Jones, University of Wollongong; Susan Feez, University of New England

    It’s counterproductive to push your child to read a whole chapter book independently if they are not ready. You might turn them off altogether. Here’s what to do instead.

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