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With the world gripped by fear of the unknown—the next tragedy, the next crisis, the next terrorist attack, financial or societal meltdown—we thought it would be illuminating to ask our panel of global experts, who weigh in from four continents, what their fear is for the future of their nations, their respective corners of our planet.

France is afraid of decline, and the specter of our own demise has brought about countless predictions of the country’s suicide. A sense of the looming twilight of a once great nation lingers in our hearts and minds. It discourages individual projects and collective ambitions, and fosters distrust and anger.

We look to the future with angst and see ourselves turning into a zero-sum society, where one man’s loss is another’s gain. In this nation of reduced opportunities, we worry that our future may...

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