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.
This article and the next focuses on the “rise of populism”, the second explanation given for two of the major recent political and geopolitical surprises – i.e. the Brexit and the election of Donald Trump as U.S. President. Populism and its rise are potentially at the heart of a possible crisis in Europe, and world-wide, should “populist” and anti-European parties be successful enough in the 2017 elections to be able to implement their program. The fear is high enough in Europe to lead in the Dutch parliamentary elections held on 15 March 2017, their opponents to astonishingly hail as a “terrific” victory the loss of eight seats by the centre-right VVD party, remaining nonetheless the first political force in the country with 33 seats, while the […]
Impact on Issues ➘ + ➙ ➂ Catalonia vs Spain (see further outlined scenarios below) – ➚ ➁ Secessions and deep changes of nations within the EU… and globally Warning (Opportunity) – Opportunity to plan ahead for the EU and its member states, as well as worldwide? Independence is meant to be declared by Catalonia President Carles Puigdemont on 10 […]
On 14 and 15 May 2017, the “One Belt, One Road” (OBOR) Forum for International Cooperation took place in Beijing. It hosted delegations from 63 countries and several international organisations. Heads of states and governments led in person 29 delegations from Asia, Africa, South America and Europe (“Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation”, Xinhua.net). […]
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. To face the various difficulties and widespread discontent, in a first scenario, Everstate’s governing bodies have transformed the conclusions of the Mamominarch Commission into policies: a programme of drastic reduction of public expenses will be implemented over five years. Despite hopes to quickly achieve a positive trade balance, after a few months of improvement, the situation worsens in terms of export of services, notably because of a decay of the education system, while youth unemployment soars. The exports of goods does not fare better because of the difficulty Everstatan industries meet to face, alone, the new resources’ condition. (The […]
Each week our scan collects weak – and less weak – signals… Each section focuses on signals related to a specific theme: world (international politics and geopolitics); economy; science; analysis, strategy and futures; technology and weapons; energy and environment. However, in a complex world, categories are merely a convenient way to present information, when facts and events […]
No28, 29th December 2011 The tension with Iran did not abate, while signs of spreading economic recession multiply. However, this end of year saw a boost in optimism in those focusing on high-tech and future technologies, however without questioning in which way resource depletion, economic and financial turmoil and related domestic impact as well as […]