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Global Trends 2030

Global Trends 2030

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Now that we're living in an "interconnected and polycentric world", the EU spends millions trying to work out how it can still tell us what to do. ESPAS.
Now that we're living in an "interconnected and polycentric world", the EU spends millions trying to work out how it can still tell us what to do. ESPAS.

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Published by: Charters and Caldecott on May 20, 2012
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Asia is the region of the world where inter-state tension is highest. This is mainly be-
cause of major border disputes between China and India, and between China and Vi-
etnam over the South China Sea islands, with a divided Korea in a permanent state of
Cold War; because of the Kashmir question, which poisons Indo-Pakistan relations;
and because of the Afghanistan war, which now seems likely to culminate in the re-
surgence of the Taliban in Kabul. These tensions may be exacerbated in the coming
decades, as a consequence of social problems and rising nationalism, and could trigger
a major armed confict.

Latin America

Latin America appears to be the region in the world where wars seem most unlike-
ly; however violence linked to drug traffcking will not disappear. Criminal groups,
whether linked to former guerrilla factions or not, are major causes of confict in
Latin America. There is a trend towards the demise of old guerrilla groups, as is hap-
pening in Colombia, although some criminal networks in Central American countries
may try to gain infuence and control the state apparatus through corruption and


In Europe, nationalism in the Balkans and in Cyprus could be mitigated by European
integration, which should contribute to the search for peaceful solution of existing con-
fict, but the declining attractions of integration would have the opposite effect. By 2030

99. J.A. Shaud, ‘An Air Force Strategic Vision for 2020–2030’, Strategic Studies Quarterly, Spring 2011, pp. 12 and 17.


6. Human security: protecting citizens

all states in the region are likely to be members of the Union. Were the prospect of EU
membership to be removed, this would have extremely detrimental effects on various
internal and border disputes in the region and in Bosnia-Herzegovina in particular. The
division of Cyprus could be mitigated by greater convergence between Turkey and the
EU, but the diffculties attending the process of enlargement to Turkey may persist and
render the solution of the Cyprus question more problematic.

In South Caucasus the separation between the breakaway regions and the affected coun-
tries is deeply entrenched and may be very diffcult to overcome. South Ossetia and Abk-
hazia are very likely to become increasingly integrated with Russian economic structures.
Russia will not reverse its August 2008 decision to recognise the two entities as independ-
ent states, which undermines the search for a common solution with the EU and the US.
Nagorno-Karabakh is a more complex confict because it involves a number of regional
actors. Russia has demonstrated greater willingness to fnd a solution to this problem,
but the ever-increasing radicalisation of both sides shows the limits of efforts by external
actors to push for confict resolution. Deepening links between Armenia and Azerbaijan
and the EU, and Armenian-Turkish reconciliation, could pave the way for a resolution of
the confict, although this may be diffcult to achieve in the coming decade. A solution to
the Nagorno-Karabakh confict could have a hugely positive effect on the political and
economic development in the Caucasus region.

The Southern Mediterranean

The coming decades may witness the end of some intractable conficts in the South-
ern Mediterranean. The resolution of the confict in Western Sahara will depend on
real democratisation processes in Morocco and Algeria. The prospects are positive
if the political reforms currently underway in Morocco translate into a true parlia-
mentary democracy and are followed by similar reforms in Algeria. The Middle East
is clearly the most intractable region of confict in the vicinity of the EU. Current
changes in Egypt and the Arab world may create new and more favourable conditions
for Palestinian reconciliation and increase the pressure on Israel to accept a two-state
solution. But this pressure is likely to have faded by 2030 if a two-state solution does
not quickly follow. Divergent demographic trends in Israel and Palestine suggest that
Jewish Israelis will be unlikely to support a one-state solution for fear of being out-
numbered in their own state.

From almost 90 percent in 1960, the Jewish proportion of the Israeli population has
been falling steadily, reaching 76 percent in 2009. Meanwhile, the annual rate of Jewish
immigration to Israel has fallen after the post-USSR surge from 3 to 1.7 percent. Today,


Global trends 2030 – Citizens in an interconnected and polycentric world

the Arab and Jewish populations of Israel and Palestine are roughly the same. If one in-
cludes Palestinian refugees in neighbouring countries, the Palestinians would likely have
a clear and growing majority, though the rate of growth of the Arab population is slow-
ing. Indeed, while the Israeli-Arab rate of population growth has dropped from 3.6 to 2.8
percent over the last decade, the Israeli-Jewish population growth has remained relatively
steady at around 1.7 percent per year. In sum, the Jewish fear of demographic swamping
by Arabs is real, though the statistical case may become less lopsided as birth rates fall
across the region.100

Other attempts to resolve the confict could easily be derailed again. Two factors in par-
ticular could eventually overturn a peace process: the negative impact of the failure of
attempts to democratise Syria and Egypt; and political developments in Israel and in the
US favouring forces that could stand in the way of a peace deal.


Despite reductions in confict in recent years, continued state fragility and post-colonial
turbulence suggest that Africa is likely to remain confict-prone (see Figure 20). Although
progress with regional crisis management capacity-building warrants some optimism, it
is unlikely that problems of fragility will be completely overcome by 2030; a best-case
scenario is that they will have slowed down or been contained.

100. Central Bureau of Statistics (Israel), Statistical Abstract of Israel 2009; D. Levy, ‘Same Netanyahu, Different Israel’, Foreign
, 24 May 2011; Y. Faitelson, ‘The Politics of Palestinian Demography’, Middle East Quarterly, Spring 2009; S. della
Pergola, ‘Demography in Israel/Palestine: Trends, Prospects, Policy Implications’, IUSSP XXIV General Population Conference,


6. Human security: protecting citizens

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