Looking back on 2011, an appeal for help

Every year, I try to make sense of the preceding 12 months, by writing a column that lists the five most significant events of the year. Here are my efforts from 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007 and 2006.

This year, there are plenty of big events jostling for attention – and I would like to appeal to readers of the blog for some help. Which ones should I focus on, in my end-of-year column, due on December 30th? The Arab Spring obviously – but does one episode rank above another: the flight of Ben Ali, the fall of Mubarak, Nato intervention in Libya. Maybe they all deserve separate listings? It’s a similar question with the European debt crisis. This was a year-long event, but was there a particular moment that stood out?

Scribbling down possible candidates, I have also detected an end-of-year bias towards events that are fresher in the memory: the Moscow demonstrations, the death of Kim Jong-Il and the Durban climate change summit all happened in recent weeks. But should they make the list, or should I focus on other events. All advice is welcome.