The Tunisian crisis may just be the first in a series of governments brought down by rising inflation world wide.First, lets be clear: Tunisia is a unique case. The combination of food price inflation and unemployment isn’t special, but the WikiLeaks reports on the country’s ruling family and the government crackdown on protesters is.
But there’s no reason to think this is going to be a one-off event.
The potential for spillover to countries with similar governments, lacking democratic safety valves for political unrest, is high.
The latter two governments are struggling to fight inflation, by increasing tightening measures. But they’re big economies and unless things get completely out of control they’re likely to be fine.
Algeria may not be so lucky, as inflation continues to spur citizens to the streets. Concerns may also rise in Morocco, where protests occurred in late 2010.
Pakistan may be another country to watch, with its already unstable political situation, and soaring inflation, with consumer prices rising 14.56% year-over-year.
UPDATE 2:21 PM ET: Over at The Guardian’s live blog, their pointing out how Egypt is another good example of a country primed for a similar Tunisian-style scenario. Certainly, with similar inflation issues there and a weak government headed by a dictatorial leader, it fits.
Already Al Qaeda is pushing for Algerians and Tunisians to overthrow their governments. Populism, spurred on by hunger, could pose a big threat to already teetering weak regimes in 2011.