Cette page regroupe l'ensemble des publications de Futuribles sur cette thématique (Vigie, revue, bibliographie, études, etc.)
Continuing the long series on Mediterranean issues that was begun, on his initiative, in this journal more than a year ago, Sébastien Abis turns here to the geopolitical dimension of a basic food resource – wheat – in the current Mediterranean context. His aim is to highlight the degree to which this cereal plays a crucial role in the geopolitical equation of the region, particularly through its social and economic impacts and the commercial dealings to which it gives rise.
Reminding us initially of the extent to which wheat is both a symbolic and a nutritionally indispensable product, he outlines the economic dynamics at work in North Africa and the Middle East in terms of the consumption, production and importation of this basic resource – particularly price increases and price volatility. Abis then shows the degree to which wheat has become a globalized, desirable product and how greatly the attention of the main producers (USA, EU, Black Sea countries) is focussed on the Mediterranean region, because of the high levels of consumption there. Lastly, after reminding us – particularly with reference to the Egyptian case – of the key role played by wheat in the social cohesion of the countries of the Mediterranean basin, Abis proposes three possible future scenarios, depending on the particular regional ambitions of the European Union: European withdrawal, leaving the countries of North Africa and the Middle East to find their supplies from the Black Sea countries; a fresh boost to the Euro-Mediterranean partnership, putting the EU at the heart of the region’s wheat supplies; or, lastly, a revision of the EU’s Neighbourhood Policy involving a partnership with the Black Sea countries to achieve optimum complementarity in terms of wheat production, though this poses the risk of friction with Russia.
L’ambiance était à l’amertume, ces 14 et 15 avril 2012, lors du sixième Sommet des Amériques convoqué dans la ville colombienne de Carthagène des Indes. Ostensiblement boudée par certains chefs d’État et de gouvernement du continent, la grand messe des 34 pays membres de l’Organisation des États américains (OEA) a achoppé sur la place à ménager à Cuba, son éternel absent, centre d’attentions aussi prudentes que contrastées d’un hémisphère à l’autre. La controverse ...
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Le projet ESPAS (European Strategy and Policy Analysis System) vise à étudier la possibilité d’établir un système interinstitutionnel identifiant les tendances à long terme et les enjeux politiques majeurs auxquels l’Union européenne est et risque de se trouver confrontée à l’horizon 2030. Il doit se dérouler en trois principales phases : le lancement d’un « projet pilote » en 2010-2011, qui est maintenant achevé, des analyses plus ciblées et des recommandations dans le cadre d’une « action préparatoire » en ...
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Dans cet ouvrage, les auteurs expliquent comment l’histoire politique de l’Amérique latine détermine dans une large mesure sa situation actuelle et les défis auxquels elle est confrontée. Selon eux, depuis l’époque coloniale, les relations politiques en Amérique latine sont le produit d’une relation d’autorité, inégalitaire, verticale et clientéliste, entre les propriétaires fonciers d’origine européenne et les populations indigènes et métisses.L’une des premières phases du développement politique de l’Amérique latine a été ...
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L’alimentation, depuis des années déjà, fait sa révolution en Méditerranée. Socle identitaire et richesse de cette région, la diète méditerranéenne y est pourtant de moins en moins observée. Cette dérive, qui met en exergue les mutations sociétales à l’œuvre dans cet espace, accentue notamment les risques sanitaires et économiques. Pourtant, la diète méditerranéenne offre de nombreuses opportunités pour le développement, si l’on prend soin d’en examiner toutes les facettes, « du paysage à la table » . En ...
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Whereas, in France, upward social mobility seems to have come to a standstill and it is less and less clear how young people are going to find jobs at a level equal or superior to that of their parents, the initiative presented here by Marthe de La Taille-Rivero provides food for thought. “Passerelles numériques”, an organization founded in 2006, has set up an IT-careers training centre in Phnom Penh especially for the most deprived young Cambodians. It is a centre that trains its students in direct association with that city’s IT companies, thus meeting local economic needs and ensuring that its trainees find jobs at the end of their courses.
In this article Marthe de La Taille-Rivero describes the origins of this project and the various actors who have contributed to its success (from both the voluntary and the business sectors). She outlines in detail how these “Gateways to the Future” operate and the principles that play a part in making them effective (as attested by the development of similar training centres in other South-East Asian countries). Lastly, she describes the economic model Passerelles numériques is striving to put in place to safeguard its funding and ensure that it continues to operate in the longer term.
Religious fundamentalism is not a new concept – far from it – and most of the world’s great religions are affected by it to a greater or lesser extent. However, among those fundamentalisms, Islamism has a special place, given the means it uses to implant itself in Muslim communities, particularly in Europe.
As Jean-François Drevet stresses here, the implantation of Islamism as a political tendency is perceptible in all European countries and is very often characterized by a large-scale propaganda effort (largely financed by the Gulf monarchies) among Muslims living on European soil, through a quasi-systematic exploitation for political ends of the right to religious freedom and a highly inadequate capacity on the part of Muslims to protect themselves from extremist preaching. It does, however, seem possible to erect a barrier against it through anti-racist and human-rights legislation which exists in many European states, if not indeed across the entire continent. If we wish to avoid the entire Muslim community – only a tiny minority of which is genuinely tempted by radical Islamism – being ostracized in Europe, and given that there is no real prospect of Islam undergoing modernization in the medium term, it is becoming urgently necessary, argues Jean-François Drevet, to have recourse to this body of law to block the development of radical Islam.
By the time this issue of Futuribles comes out, the French presidential election campaign will be in its final stages – the second round of the ballot takes place on 6 May – and a second campaign for the June legislative elections will be about to follow. It is highly unlikely that the tone of this second campaign will differ substantially from the first and provide French electors with an objective view of the opportunities and constraints that ensue from France’s membership of the European Union since, as Jean-François Drevet laments here, all parties, both of right and left, in government or on the political fringes, speak in thoroughly outdated terms in many areas relating to Community policies.
This is no doubt the result of pressure from public opinion, but that in itself is evidence that a certain kind of populism prevails, in which often ill-informed electors are told only what they want to hear. Now, as this column reminds us, France’s scope for manœuvre in the fields most concerned (globalization, debt crisis, migratory flows) is very restricted and it would be lying to the citizenry to have them believe that solutions will come from unilateral action by France or through disengagement from international institutions. Quite the contrary, solutions are to be found in intensified co-operation, particularly at the European level.
En 2011, le Qatar bénéficie d’une balance courante qui lui a permis de dégager 56 milliards de dollars US d’excédents. Ces montants ont permis de : — moderniser les infrastructures (villes, autoroutes, ferroviaires, aéroports, loisirs) ; — renforcer le secteur industriel (liquéfaction et pétrochimie) ; — développer les services (financiers, tourisme). L’économie publique reste dominante et représente 75 % à 80 % du PIB (produit intérieur brut). Grâce à cette politique expansionniste sur les plans budgétaire et monétaire, et malgré la crise mondiale, l’Émirat ...
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En Tunisie, la révolution du 14 janvier 2011 a soulevé beaucoup d’espoirs auprès de ceux qui ont scandé les mots d’ordre « liberté » et « dignité ». Plus d’un an après, les évolutions à venir du pays restent marquées par de grandes incertitudes caractérisées par la cohabitation d’une majorité islamiste et d’une société civile jalouse de ses libertés.
Dans cet exposé Pascal Boniface s’attache à identifier les ruptures survenues dans le domaine des relations internationales depuis la deuxième moitié du XXe siècle : il fait le point sur la méthode à adopter pour faire de la prospective dans le domaine de la géopolitique. Puis, il met en lumière les principaux enjeux qui pourraient avoir une importance cruciale pour la communauté internationale à plus ou moins long terme.
Since the creation of the European Community in 1957, the construction of Europe has largely been down to Franco-German cooperation and the capacity of those two countries to overcome their differences to advance the economic and political integration of the continent. However, Jean-François Drevet tells us, this “exemplary cooperation” seems to be running up against its limits in the current context of crisis and excessive indebtedness of the states of Europe. For it is clear that Germany, which made sacrifices to overcome the cost of reunification in the 1990s, intends that today’s debt-distressed European states will do the same, so as not to drag down the entire European edifice with them in their (potential) fall. France, not greatly attracted by the budgetary conception its Rhenish neighbour has of the Union, would prefer the option of a European “economic governance”, allowing considerable scope for the inter-governmental element. However, its economic and budgetary situation, which is far worse than that of Germany, hardly puts it in a position of strength. It is hence a sound bet, concludes Drevet, that the Union will only be able to get out of the economic and political impasse in which it finds itself through an evolution towards federalism inspired by the Rhenish model.
The vulnerability of developed societies is not a new notion and has been very clearly set out by, among others, Ulrich Beck. It does, however, acquire new meaning with the increasing extension and interconnection of real and virtual networks. For example, electrical and digital networks play a part today in the operation of almost all other critical infrastructures and systems. This underlines their importance and the issue that protecting them represents in most countries. As Pierre Bonnaure shows here, the Internet is subject to frequent attacks and cyberthreats are increasing, emanating as they do from “hackers” with very varied objectives, whose actions may have major consequences.
Outlining the risks of a cyberwar, Bonnaure shows the strategic character of the battle against cyberthreats and the way people are beginning to face up to them in most of the countries affected by the phenomenon. It is highly improbable that any country will be able to forearm itself totally against cyberthreats and the system risks that ensue from them, but the ability to identify them and fight them when they do become reality is, most certainly, a significant strategic asset.
Les tensions récentes autour des îles Malouines font resurgir le souvenir d’une guerre vieille de 30 ans. Mais le conflit n’a plus le même visage et ses enjeux ont évolué. À l’heure des nouvelles alliances latino-américaines, l’Argentine n’est plus la seule à défier la Grande-Bretagne sur cette épineuse question.
C’est le 10 mai prochain que les Algériens se déplaceront aux urnes pour élire une nouvelle Assemblée populaire nationale (APN). Initialement prévue en juin voire pour l’automne, cette élection législative a été annoncée début février par Abdelaziz Bouteflika lors d’un discours radiotélévisé. Le président algérien a précisé que le scrutin se déroulerait en un seul tour tandis que, quelques jours plus tard, un conseil des ministres décidait que le nombre de députés de l’APN passerait de ...
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As a result of the dramatic social consequences they produce, periods of economic crisis are – as history shows – often springboards for the rise of various forms of extremism and of inward-looking movements. It is reassuring, then, to see governments in Europe currently striving to stand together and attempt to face up collectively to the economic setbacks affecting most European countries. Just a few decades ago, national conflicts and resentments were so rooted in people’s minds that, at that time, such cooperation would have been unimaginable. That it exists attests to the work done since World War II to calm those tensions and enable a common reading of recent European history to emerge.
Jean-François Drevet brings this out clearly in this column, so as to forewarn those in Europe – or at the gates of Europe – who might be tempted by a form of historical falsification. After reminding readers briefly of what such falsifications of history have led to in Europe and of the emergence of a more calmly conceived history, he turns to various clarifications he regards as necessary in this area. These relate particularly to two countries which are tempted by a rather skewed reading of their national histories: Hungary and Turkey. He concludes on the importance of every country “coming to terms” with its national history, so that it is not endlessly carrying a hostile baggage that is out of phase with a united Europe.
In this special issue of Futuribles devoted to genetically modified organisms, Marcel Kuntz and Agnès Ricroch offer a review of the situation regarding biotechnological plants and their socio-economic prospects. After reminding us of the agricultural (and food) challenges our planet will face by the middle of the century, they outline the possible contributions of transgenics to overcoming them (resistance to various kinds of stress, improvement of yields, nutritional contributions), particularly in the developing countries. They go on to stress the advantages of transgenics in the fields of industry (agrofuels) and pharmaceuticals (biosynthesis of proteins and enzymes for therapeutic purposes).
Kuntz and Ricroch then come to a more political strand of argument: the political and regulatory constraints on the development of GMOs in Europe (and, in particular, France). They criticize, for example, the destructions carried out by certain anti-GM movements, and over-cautiousness in the political decisions and regulation that eventually led to the enduring sidelining of French and European players in the plant biotechnology sector. This situation is, in their view, highly damaging and synonymous with scientific and technical defeat. And the means for overcoming it, such as gaining the confidence of public opinion in the field through better information and publicity campaigns directed more at the benefits inherent in the technologies than the risks, have hardly been successful.
« Le Maroc sera islamiste (sauf miracle….ou petit tour de passe-passe du Palais) ». Tel était le titre de la première page de l’hebdomadaire Telquel (numéro 497) publié au Maroc, la semaine précédant la consultation électorale du 25 novembre 2011. Ce numéro annonçait la victoire probable du Parti de la justice et du développement (PJD) et l’appel par le Roi à son leader Abdelilah Benkirane pour diriger le gouvernement était envisagé. Quelles analyses peut-on faire a posteriori de cette ...
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Convoqué le 5 février 2012 à Caracas, le sommet de l’Alliance bolivarienne pour les peuples de notre Amérique (ALBA) a encore affermi les liens entre les huit pays membres qui la composent. Union douanière, mais aussi énergétique en vertu de l’accord PetroCaribe (autorisant l’exportation du pétrole vénézuélien à des tarifs préférentiels dans les pays concernés et quelques autres de la zone), l’ALBA disposera bientôt d’une banque centrale. Au cours de ce dernier sommet, son armature ...
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For some months now, the European Union has been facing an economic and financial crisis in which the challenge to the member states has been to find the means to bolster the economic governance of the eurozone. If they fail to do so, the monetary union that has been in existence for some 10 years might hit the buffers. There have been ever more European summits and Franco-German meetings aimed at finding a way out of the Greek crisis and, more generally, a solution to the general destabilization of the European financial system, but ultimately, as Frédéric Allemand shows here, they are hardly proposing anything more than was advocated in the Werner Report of 1970. That report had, in fact, drawn up a particularly far-sighted “plan for achieving economic and monetary union by stages.” However, for want of genuine political support at the time, it was not carried through.
Economic and monetary union was, indeed, established by the Maastricht Treaty in the 1990s, but the union provided was of a minimal kind and did not follow the recommendations proposed by the Werner Report, of which Frédéric Allemand reminds us here. As a result, monetary integration was implemented without economic integration, and particularly without the establishment of a “decision-making centre for economic policy” that would be responsible to the European Parliament and enforce strict control of national budgetary policies. Now that the facts have cruelly shown up the failings that ensued from the omission of such a central structure, perhaps Europe’s leaders will at last get back to fundamentals and, wittingly or otherwise, see through the various stages of the Werner Plan…
The popular uprising in Syria began almost a year ago in the wake of the wave of hope produced by the “Arab springs” in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya. But the Syrian government is a hardier beast than its North African counterparts. Possessing armed and administrative services still very loyal to president Bashar al-Assad, it bloodily represses the regular demonstrations of opponents calling for regime change. The international community, including the Arab League, has been trying for months to put pressure on Bashar al-Assad to end this repression and give way to some popular demands. Nothing has come of this. In this context, what might the prospects be for this country, whose role and influence remain central in the Middle East?
Olivier Marty examines the question, beginning with the salient features of the current regime: the legacy of Hafez al-Assad, attempts at internal modernization, and a stifled society with no room left for manoeuvre in a context of growing communal tension. He goes on to demonstrate how Syria has positioned itself over time internationally – and, particularly, in terms of its alliances – and to show its still essential role in that highly troubled region of the Middle East. Lastly, Olivier Marty sketches out what the scenarios might be for overcoming the crisis in Syria, though here he inclines more towards the view that the situation is likely to deteriorate (on account, among other things, of the difficulties the international community would have in intervening militarily), with the bolstering of financial sanctions and political support for the opposition. In this connection, he specifies the roles of the various states involved in the management of the crisis – Turkey, Russia, Europe, USA etc.
If, as this article suggests, there is still a high risk of political stalemate, let us hope for the sake of Syrian civilians that it does not last long.
It was just over a year ago that the popular revolts in Tunisia and Egypt began which were to lead to the fall of the two major authoritarian regimes in North Africa and cause other peoples (the Libyans and the Syrians) to rise up in turn against the dictatorships in place there. Much was expected of that “Arab Spring”, supported as it was by various European countries (including France) – not least the establishment of genuine democracies in the countries concerned. However, democracy cannot be established by decree and democratic elections may bring to power leaders who are not greatly inclined to respect it. Is this what we are in danger of seeing in the countries of the southern Mediterranean, where the first democratic votes seem to be paving the way for Islamic regimes that might radicalize to a degree that is as yet unclear?
Jean-François Drevet raises that question here, briefly examining the situation of those Arab countries with links to the European Union and the prospects for the Islamists of developing their influence in those countries. Lastly, he shows how the new political situation in that region could change the Union’s diplomatic relations with those countries and particularly how the Union could attempt to forestall excessively radical developments.
Ce chapitre est extrait du Rapport Vigie 2016 de Futuribles International, qui propose un panorama structuré des connaissances et des incertitudes des experts que l'association a mobilisés pour explorer les évolutions des 15 à 35 prochaines années sur 11 thématiques.