4 February 2010

Projections for 2020: Global Political Focus

Certainly we are neither diviners, nor trying to report news from the future. We are just providing some insights about what could have happen in the world in the next 10 years under the light of science. We tried present arguments with provocative articles to social scientists. In some areas, we brought philosophical underpinnings. Possible developments were tackled with the perspective of historical dialectic. The reflections of developments that have been experienced during the Cold War, post-Cold War environment until 2001 and since 2001 were the landmarks of the analysis.

As much as what we are experiencing today are reflection of the recent past, it also have footsteps of what we will experience tomorrow. The foundation of this dictum is the fact that since the end of the Cold War, there have been no signed peace agreement. Processes like Dayton and Oslo included just the ceasefire. Talking about a full fledged peace is impossible. Furthermore, this new period was defined as, with a great illusion, New World Order. 1989-2001 passes as a historical intermission. Relative wealth that humanity experienced made the deep abyss more clear. Behind the shadow of artificial alliances, the infrastructure for conflict have been laid. While the victorious US enjoyed this period, other were busy with their preparations. The post-2001 period offered extra time and opportunities for those, who are preparing.

Since 2001, the New World Order was collapsed and the historical intermission was ended. This situations resulted in the violent emergence of frozen conflicts of the past and it will always remembered as the years that the first step has been taken towards intense conflicts.

Geopolitic Global Political Focus will determine the first half of the 21st century. Political awakening is widening and popularizing. As much as it popularize, it is radicalizing. This situation, while igniting century old dormant demands, it is fueling conflicts. The breaking of relative wealth that experienced during the historical intermission is stimulating unsatisfied masses. It is observed that this movement is finding global allies and the alliance is increasingly broadening. Uneven development and social injustice is easily unifying people all around the world with different nationality, religion and language against the status quo.

However, these groups are becoming young, sectarian and impossible to control. They are composed of people, who the majority is living in the Third World countries, have limited access to world resources and aged under 25. Majority of them are concentrated in middle and low level education institutions, they can use computer and in communication and interaction with far regions of the world. Unemployed section of the group are more radical, semi-active and angry. This group has the tendency to become either religious radicals or anti-globalization activist or both. Because, as the age group, they are representing the new generation and because of this, they fast in being the part of political movements. They have not experienced the ideological fears of the Cold War. Although, they are not like Trotsky, they are more international than national. The most distinct characteristic is being anti-Western on the basis of anti-Americanism. As a opposition to this, they are conservative in religion and Marxist in economics. They represent nationalism that blended with Orthodox values in countries like Russia, Ukraine and former Yugoslavia; a resistance that rise on the foundations of Islam in the Middle east, Southeast Asia and North Africa. The reason for anti-Western stance is more than a populist movement but entrench in the history. With such meaning and all its mistakes, it represents the Renaissance of the East.
Against this crowd that is 75% of world’s total population, the population of the West (the US+Canada+Europe) will remain 15% in 2020. Billions of people are in the adventure for the search of new and powerful status. This search is affecting economic realm as much as it fuels regional conflicts. Western capitalism would be forced to share regulations that have been crafted in accordance to its interests via World Bank, WTO and IMF. Economic structures that are protective but more flexible in regional sense would come into prominence. Some Europeans can join this process. Because, East Asia would become a center for attraction that they will ask for more share in international economic and political interests and insist on their demands tougher.

One of the determining effects of the 21st century will be the decrease in the traditional dominance of Euro-Atlantic world. Aggressive reactions of Euro-Atlantic bloc would make the separation more sharp. Foreign imposed, impatient democracy transfers efforts can be shown as examples for this. However, there is an ongoing process that this situation of Euro-Atlantic bloc would be balanced. It is certain that they will withdraw from various regions.

The US and Europe’s struggle with Islam would create opportunities for China, Russia and India to spread their international role in the Middle East, North Africa and Southeast Asia. In opposition to the US, these states will be gladly welcomed.

Various European states would try to develop special relations with energetic Far East. The pangs of this are being experienced. Moreover, this special relationship would evolve into joint action towards global problems or reaching at shared values. This points out a deep crack in Atlantic bloc; hence economic interests would play determining role in this special relationship. European currency Euro and prospective Asia common currency would not want to finance the US debts any more. This situation would lead to establishment of new trade routes and practices in Pacific and Atlantic. In the search for new Cape Hope, Russia, Turkey, Caucasus and Central Asia would become new sites of exploration for Europe. The long running stagnation and decline periods of Empires in the past has left its place to rapid realizations in the 21st century. Global Political Focus is a determining factor. While, there is a distance towards Euro-Atlantic bloc, states like Turkey, Ukraine and Georgia have come to realization that gates of Europe is closed to them. Turkey, while joining with the Middle East, which is rising with religiously, it is getting closer with its new ally Russia (increase of trade volume to 100 billion dollar and bi-lateral abandoning the visa requirement have been set as main targets).

In this process, just like before, NATO would try represent the US aggressiveness. Thus, both giving a message to the new world and strengthening of the ties between the allies have been aimed. This situation could become concrete as NATO expands towards Pacific. However, especially Japan would opt for security area that depends on Japan in the intermediate-term.


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