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Elections to Watch in 2022

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Allison Meakem

Next year’s contests are set to bring populist reckonings, parliamentary headaches, and a possible democratic crisis or two.

2022-elections-france-macron-brazil-bolsanaro-hungary-2000x1000Jon Benedict illustration for Foreign Policy/Getty Images

In the United States, where campaigns are temporally unbounded and election season seems constant, politicians and observers alike are already fixated on the 2022 midterm legislative elections, to be held in November of next year. And while the midterms can seriously endanger U.S. President Joe Biden’s agenda, particularly as he confronts record-low approval ratings and a democratic system on the precipice, they cannot remove him from office. That’s not to say they are unimportant: There are significant potential foreign-policy implicationsof a changed Congress. But, at least next year, U.S. politics will not enjoy a dramatic sea change in executive leadership.

The rest of the world, however, is a different story. From Colombia to Bosnia and Herzegovina to South Korea, 2022 is stacked with presidential and parliamentary elections that could fundamentally reshape their respective countries’ political systems—and destinies. And that’s not even counting what will be the world’s biggest election: not a national contest but legislative elections in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, whose some 200 million residents will decide whether the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party stays in power there for another five years.

Although each country’s context is unique, the stakes of each election follow remarkably similar trends.