©James Ferguson

In this report

The World in 2014 looks to be in a far better shape than in previous years. The FT’s key writers examine the economics, politics and business factors that will shape the coming 12 months

Populism puts global elite on alert

Good economic news may dominate Davos but globalisation fears cannot be ignored

US: Next six months crucial if Obama to have effective second term

Relationship with John Boehner is key to avoid lame duck presidency

In depth

44th Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF), in Davos ©EPA
The 44th annual meeting is taking place between 22-25 January

China: Xi puts faith in reforms as growth slows

The president hopes rising incomes and tighter controls will keep people in line

Russia: Post-Soviet struggles bring on existential crisis

Short-term tactics cannot mask need for structural reforms

Middle East: Extremism finds new opening in climate of discord and chaos

Sunni-Shia divide is being inflamed by disagreements over Iran and Syria

Brazil’s businesses face year of distractions

This year will test the country’s ability to maintain growth

The arts: Culture’s role to come under greater scrutiny

Eclecticism of tone and content excites

Austerity: Moderation of fiscal tightening changes debate

Question is whether politicians are capable of long-term prudence

Football: Fitness and finance change face of the beautiful game

The strong growth of past five years looks set to continue

Drop in crime level baffles experts

Western world experiences epidemic of peace but cyber crime looms

Architecture: Bigger, better, more – cities’ love affair with size continues

Technological advances have allowed for ever taller buildings, but what has been lost along the way

Health: Much achieved but more work needed

Mixed prognosis as high cost of drugs still excludes the poorest