EVEN with the best will in the world—which, in 2014, has not been conspicuously forthcoming—the outgoing year could not be regarded as one of the planet’s finest. Between war, disease and insurrection, the past 12 months have often seemed a gory relay for the apocalypse’s four horsemen. But look closely, and amid the misery there have been reasons for optimism. Whether by dint of boldness or stoicism, there are numerous candidates for the coveted title of The Economist’s country of the year.
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