September 2008, the month Lehman Brothers went bust, was the time when many began to appreciate the severity of the international financial crisis. With much of the banking system shaken to its core, it was clear that the consequences could be profound, and not just economically.
In February 2009, US director of National Intelligence Adm Dennis Blair asserted that "the financial crisis and global recession are likely to produce a wave of economic crises", and, remarkably, that "the primary US security concern is now the destabilising global political fallout". Then-secretary of state Hillary Clinton also argued that "this economic crisis, left unresolved ...will upend governments, [and] it will unfortunately breed instability".
Five years on, there has indeed been significant political disruption across the world. However, this instability has had diverse origins, and the degree to which the financial crisis has been a driver has varied from country to country.
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