The world’s political landscape in 2030 will look considerably different to the present one. Nation states will remain the central players. There will be no single hegemonic force but instead a handful of countries – the U.S., Russia, China, Germany, India and Japan chief among them – exhibiting semi-imperial tendencies. Power will be more widely distributed across non-state networks, including regressive ones. And vast conurbations of mega-citiesand their peripheries will exert ever greater influence. The post-war order that held since the middle of the twentieth century is coming unstuck. Expect uncertainty and instability ahead.
Nation states are making a comeback. The largest ones are busily expanding their global reach even as they shore-up their territorial and digital borders. As the onslaught of reactionary politics around the world amply shows, there are no guarantees that these vast territorial dominions and their satellites will become more liberal or democratic. Instead, relentless climate change, migration, terrorism, inequality and rapid technological change are going to ratchet up anxiety, insecurity and, as is already painfully apparent, populism and authoritarianism. While showing cracks, the four-century reign of the nation state will endure for some decades more. (Click to Article)