Princeton professor Anne-Marie Slaughter (who was most recently on GPS last month) lays out a vision of a brighter world in 2025, but warns that it may take cataclysm to get there. Below are some highlights of her piece, which is well worth reading in full on ForeignPolicy.com.
In 2025, Slaughter envisions:
1. A much more multilateral world.
"By 2025 the U.N. Security Council will have expanded from the present 15 members to between 25 and 30 and will include, either as de jure or de facto permanent members, Brazil, India, Japan, South Africa, either Egypt or Nigeria and either Indonesia or Turkey."
She also envisions more and stronger regional organizations from the African Union and Association of Southeast Asian Nations to a new Middle East free trade region. "Each will follow its own version of economic and political integration, inspired by the European Union, and many will include representation from smaller sub-regional organizations."
2. Sustainability becoming key to national strength.
"As for individual countries, the states that will be the strongest in 2025 will be those that have figured out how to do more with less.They will be those governments that have successfully embraced radical sustainability - maintaining vibrant economies through largely renewable energy and creative reuse of just about everything."
3. Non-state actors of all kinds organizing globally around key issues.
"The American social revolution that Alexis de Tocqueville observed in the early 19th century, of citizens joining groups of every conceivable kind, is about to go global, forever changing the relationship between citizens and their governments, and governments with each other."
But the path to this world is not an easy one, Anne-Marie Slaughter warns:
"These predictions may appear rosy. In fact, the enormous changes on the horizon will require major crises, even cataclysm, before they can materialize. It took World War I to generate the political will and circumstances necessary to create the League of Nations....Just imagine what it will take to break the decades-old logjam of Security Council reform. And creating and changing multilateral organizations is child's play next to the profound changes in public and private behavior required to move away from the more-is-better economic model to one which accepts that our resources are finite on a planetary scale."
Climate change, a global pandemic or a nuclear terrorist attack could force such systemic changes, Slaughter writes:
"As Robert Wright argues in Nonzero: The Logic of Human Destiny, catastrophe is terrible for individual human beings but beneficial for humanity as a whole. As the full consequences of genuinely global interconnectedness continue to make themselves felt, the world of both states and the societies they represent will have no choice but to adapt."
What do you think of this vision of the world's future? Do you agree or disagree? Be sure to check out the article here and let us know your thoughts below.