Even if the world avoids a devastating shock such as a Middle East war or a European breakdown, many analysts fear the business of politics and policy-making could become increasingly difficult around the world.
With economic growth slowing and unemployment creeping up, most analysts believe the risks of social unrest will continue to rise across much of the developed and developing world.
"We have all the problems you'd expect from economic hardship. At some stage we will have rising food prices which are always destabilising and we have a question over whether China will overheat," says Elizabeth Stephens, head of credit and political risk at London insurance brokers Jardine Lloyd Thompson.
"Even a fall of one or two percentage points of GDP (in China) could be enough to really question social stability if they can't keep job creation going... We (also) have probable ongoing unrest in Europe and the ongoing transition in the Middle East and North Africa could be quite unstable."
Image: A vendor waits for customers at his wine stall at a market in Shanghai in this November 2011 file photo.