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This week’s edition of The Economist includes our annual guide to the coming year, The World Ahead. The 2024 edition is unusual, for two reasons. The first is that in the 38 years that we have published this guide, no single person has ever eclipsed our analysis as much as Donald Trump eclipses 2024. Although America’s presidential election is still a year away, and the winner will not be inaugurated until January 2025, the real possibility of a second Trump term is a theme throughout our future-gazing coverage.
The second unusual thing about this year’s publication is that we are, for the first time, including it as part of the weekly edition of The Economist: both on our digital platforms and as a 90-page internal supplement to the print edition. (That explains the unusual heft of this week’s paper—it is, as far as I can tell from delving into our archives, the chunkiest print edition we have published since October 2000, the height of the dotcom boom.) By doing this we hope to bring its analysis and predictions to the attention of more of our readers.
By its nature, The World Ahead restricts its focus to the coming year, which means the consequences of a second Trump presidency are outside its purview. Accordingly, our cover this week gazes further ahead, and considers what a Trump victory in 2024 would mean for America—and the rest of the world. Next year’s election will probably be decided by a few tens of thousands of voters in a handful of American states. But their choice will have global implications.