The world has entered a period where uncertainty rules and where surprises abound.
Focusing on 2016, the two major surprises usually singled out are the Brexit or the vote leading to the exit of the U.K. from the European Union, then the election of U.S. President Trump against favourite Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. Even though a short-term focus could let us believe that the turmoil only or mainly hits “the West”, political and geopolitical surprises and uncertainties have multiplied worldwide, starting at least with the shock of the financial crisis in 2007 and 2008 and responses to it (see end note for some major instances*).
What is thus happening? How are we to tackle the uncertainty? Are these surprises related or discrete independent events that it would be wrong to link or try to understand together?
We shall start here with the 2016 surprises and related ongoing uncertainty, i.e. the Brexit and the U.S. Trump Presidency, and focus more particularly on the contradictions and questions that arise when we compare the two phenomena. We shall seek a framework for and elements of understanding, which can then be used in the development of scenarios for the future.
Editor’s note: We have been monitoring “behind the scenes” the US Dollar Supremacy and the challenges it faces over the last couple of years. Indications show that it is now time to move towards strategic foresight analysis of the issue. This series results from this need and our in-depth analysis will constitute the building blocks for scenario […]
Editorial – Horizon scanning for national and international security – What appears as most amazing this week is a perception of an accelerating American decline on the world stage. A few months ago, we warned that changes related to the dollar supremacy were in the making, even if they would, most probably, need a relatively long time before […]
Last weeks’ summary: In 2012 EVT, Everstate (the ideal-type corresponding to our very real countries created to foresee the future of governance and of the modern nation-state) knows a rising dissatisfaction of its population. Alarmed by the rising difficulties and widespread discontent, the governing authorities decide to do something when new elections start, which starts the second scenario, Panglossy. Dependent upon programmes created to face efficiently past challenges, prisoners of entrenched political groupings, the major parties campaign to come back to the order ante. Meanwhile, the polarisation and rise of a new opposition that took place during the election is temporarily frozen by the last hope thus created. The new Everstatan government, dependent upon past thinking, decides that a return to economic efficiency through growth is the […]
Last weeks’ summary: In 2012 EVT, Everstate (the ideal-type corresponding to our very real countries created to foresee the future of governance and of the modern nation-state) knows a rising dissatisfaction of its population. Alarmed by the rising difficulties and widespread discontent, the governing authorities decide to do something when new elections start, which starts the second scenario, Panglossy. The new Everstatan government, dependent upon past thinking, decides that a return to economic efficiency through growth is the key to the crisis. Its first measure, to raise the minimum wage, fails to boost growth through consumption. The second, longer term, policy, which promotes green growth through infrastructure investment, starts with the preparation of the first high level conference of ISSIGE. Notably, funding through the emission of bonds, […]
Last week’s summary: In 2012 EVT, Everstate (the ideal-type corresponding to our very real countries created to foresee the future of the modern nation-state) sees a mounting discontent of its population because it has become insecure considering the impact of the new still misunderstood conditions. Three related phenomena drive Everstatan political authorities’ incapacity to deliver security. First, Everstate faces a changing set of resources implying an income that is relatively too low while costs and expenditures resulting from accumulated threats and pressures rise inexorably. Added to an Inability to understand the situation and a use of past recipe, this leads to both a chronic and deepening budget deficit and an increasing demand for liquidity. Individually, citizens face the same challenge, which heightens the need for liquidity. (The reader can click […]
Horizon Scanning for National security No89 – Look East: Indicators are turning red! The possibility of war – between China and Japan… and the US (security treaties can also have an escalating effect) and ? – is now very much on the agenda, despite all wishful thinking and previous disbelief. The dire financial situation of Japan, which everyone tries so hard to ignore, while US potential sequestration shockwaves nears and Europe polarizes, are not the most stabilizing context and factors. We had a window of opportunity, at the beginning of February, it closed. Shall we see another opening up of “the funnel of choices” (Nye, 1993: 68-69)?
No55 – 5 July 2012 – Click on the image below to read on Paper.Li (best with mobiles & tablets) Attrition warfare: This week is about positioning, reinforcing existing stances and trends, in a quiet but strong way, with, as result, a polarisation across issues, nothing obvious, flamboyant, easy to detect, but polarisation all the […]