Géopolitique

Cette page regroupe l'ensemble des publications de Futuribles sur cette thématique (Vigie, revue, bibliographie, études, etc.)

Tribune européenne

Géopolitique - Territoires, réseaux

Territorial Cohesion and Community Solidarity

The European Union “promotes territorial cohesion and solidarity between the member states”, says the final draft of the Lisbon Treaty. The mention of this new objective leads Jean-François Drevet to investigate the concept of territorial cohesion, “which is still little used at the European level”. After outlining the policies implemented in this field nationally in countries like Germany, Switzerland and France, and taking account of both their positive aspects and their unintended consequences, Drevet examines the mechanisms of solidarity at work across the European Union.
In his view, the community budget currently has too little redistributive capacity — net transfers between member states are said to represent only a quarter of the European budget — and has proved “incapable of playing a major role in economic stimulus policies”. This is a situation that ‘brings increasing risks (particularly in a period of economic and financial crisis) for the stability of the Euro zone”. It is essential, then, concludes Drevet, that this new objective of territorial cohesion should become one of Europe’s priorities.

Revue

Géopolitique - Institutions - Santé

Research into Infectious Diseases. Global Biomedical Research: Between Neglect and Prioritization

Despite the problem being flagged up in the late 1980s by the World Health Organization’s Commission on Health Research for Development, even today research and development activities in the field of health focus mainly on diseases affecting the peoples of the rich countries. This in part explains why, as Jean-Paul Moatti and Jean-François Delfraissy point out here, “more than a billion human beings, almost all of whom live in tropical and subtropical regions, are currently suffering from one or more neglected diseases”.
The authors do, however, see some minor development. Because of globalization, which increases the risk of pandemics, the rich countries are realizing that “their” health also depends on better protection for the whole of the world’s population. This new awareness underlay the drafting of the Millennium Objectives for Development in 2000, in which the international community committed itself, among other things, to redoubling its efforts to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.
However, Moatti and Delfraissy stress that these efforts are still insufficient. It is, in their view, necessary to go further today, for example, by strengthening multilateral instruments like the WHO or by increasing the number of North-South partnerships. As they see it, it is urgent for research at last to be regarded as a “global public good”.

Revue

Géopolitique

The Primacy of Geography. On the Article, ‘The Revenge of Geography’

In a recent article entitled “The Revenge of Geography”, published in the journal Foreign Policy, Robert D. Kaplan draws on three great U.S. and British classic authorities on geopolitics –Alfred Mahan, Sir Halford Mackinder and Nicholas J. Spykman — to reassert forcefully the precept that “man proposes, but nature disposes”. Following these authors’ view that physical and human geography is the main determinant of the development of the global geopolitical situation, he attempts to show what will be the main zones of future tension or even conflict. Bernard Cazes has examined the argument and reports, in this brief analysis, on its tenor and limitations.

Revue

Géopolitique - Institutions - Santé - Société, modes de vie

The Risks of an Influenza Pandemic: 2009 and After…

In March 2009, there was an outbreak of the Influenza A (H1N1) virus in Mexico. By the end of May it had killed 45 Mexicans, contaminated almost 3,800 and there were more than 10,000 confirmed cases throughout the world, 5,500 of them in the United States. On 11 June, with the virus affecting more than 27,000 persons in 74 countries, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a level 6 maximum alert or, in other words, a state of global pandemic.
This pandemic turned out to be a “very active epidemic of moderate seriousness, but temporally atypical,’ as William Dab and Nina Testut put it here, stressing the unpredictable character of the development of all influenza viruses. “The management of influenza epidemics is basically a management of uncertainty”, say the authors, going on to observe that “it is impossible to manage a health security risk that includes a significant degree of uncertainty without the trust of stakeholders”.
Given this observation, William Dab et Nina Testut make an initial assessment of the way the pandemic was managed in France, define the reasons for — and role of — the “wave of polemics” that has accompanied this health crisis since last Summer, and examine the way the French perceived these various elements. “This H1N1 virus will, in the end, have taught us much we didn’t know about French society”, stress the two authors.

Revue

Géopolitique - Institutions - Santé

The Battle against Malaria. A Victory that is within Reach

Having remained silent about, and absent from, the struggle against malaria for a long period, the international community finally roused itself in the late 1990s and began to combat the disease on a “massive” scale. It is an illness entirely eradicated in the advanced countries, but one that still rages in poor ones, with almost a million dying each year, mainly in sub-Saharan Africa. It attacks those who are most vulnerable: namely, women, the under-fives, those with HIV/AIDS and displaced people.
Malaria is a “disease of poverty”, as Michèle Barzach and Sylvie Chantereau stress here. “As an individual and collective factor of social destabilization”, it hits the countries it affects hard in both economic and social terms. “Malaria can account for more than 50% of the expenditure of households coping with it directly”, note the authors. It is estimated to cost “sub-Saharan Africa more than 12 billion dollars in lost GDP”.
Yet it is an avoidable disease, thanks to some effective treatments and means of prevention, observe Michèle Barzach and Sylvie Chantereau. This is something the international community has realized, having for some ten years now carried on an unprecedented struggle against malaria, with funding that has risen from less than 100 million dollars in 2003 to 2 billion in 2009. In this context, the authors assert without hesitation that “all the conditions are in place today for malaria to be effectively controlled in all the affected areas of the globe, and even eliminated in some countries”. They stress, however, that the current research and funding effort has to be maintained if this is to happen.

Revue

Géopolitique - Institutions - Santé

The Challenge of Infectious Diseases

By way of introduction to our special dossier on infectious diseases, Nicolas Simon reminds us here of some of the dramatic episodes they have occasioned in the past. He also points up the successes achieved in the struggle against smallpox, for example, while underscoring the extent of the HIV/AIDS and malaria epidemics, which mainly affect populations in the less developed countries.
However, he stresses the scale of the effort put in by the international community since the mid-1990s and the beneficial effects that have ensued. He thus shows how disastrous it would be if that effort slackened and stresses, in very timely fashion, the need to continue with and, indeed, intensify it. He also emphasizes the lead role certain countries and the NGOs and foundations can play to this effect, including through an institution as remarkable as the “Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria”. But let us make no mistake, says Nicolas Simon, it is, once again, a question of priorities.

Tribune européenne

Géopolitique - Institutions

Europe and Public Services

At a moment when the exposure of public services to competition is gradually extending in France to such sectors as energy production and distribution, rail transport and postal services,
Jean-François Drevet examines the effects of liberalization, a process that has been spreading within the European Union since the late 1980s.
After delivering a mixed verdict on the earliest privatizations, most notably in telecommunications and air transport, Drevet highlights the worrying prospects for recent and current liberalizations. “How is the public interest to be reconciled with that of a private operator?” he asks, before raising the question of the current relevance of this policy, given the EU’s new objectives — namely territorial cohesion, energy security and combating climate change. He goes on to stress the importance, in this context, of the concept of “smart regulation”

Revue

Géopolitique

Pakistan at the Heart of Geopolitical Tensions

Increasing attention is naturally being given to Asia at the moment, particularly to the emerging nations like China and India, and, for other reasons, the Western offensive against the Taliban is intensifying in the hope of pacifying the situation in Afghanistan. In these conditions, Pakistan, situated as it is at the crossroads between Iran, Afghanistan and China, remains nonetheless a subject of permanent perplexity, not least on account of its complex nature and the complexity of its relations with its neighbours.
With a surface area of some 850,000 sq kms (one and a half times the size of France), a very particular geographical configuration and a population of 180 million inhabitants (perhaps 300 million by 2050), it is the world’s second largest Muslim country after Indonesia. Faced internally with sizeable disparities and, particularly, with acute ethnic and religious tensions, its relations with its neighbours — particularly India, Iran and Afghanistan — are complex and potentially explosive.
Alain Lamballe, who knows this region particularly well, explains its singular situation to us, setting out the threats, both internal and external, facing Pakistan, the perception the country itself has of those threats and the strategy it has adopted. He outlines, too, the fears the world may reasonably have so far as the future of the country and the region is concerned.

Revue

Géopolitique - Ressources naturelles, énergie, environnement

Copenhagen: The Melancholia of Lucidity

From 26 to 28 November 2009, the Ateliers de la Terre organized a conference at Deauville on the theme of “Building a New Equilibrium”, at which the grounds for fear and hope with regard to the Copenhagen Summit were passionately debated.
Bettina Laville, who has been involved for many years in international negotiations on climate and the environment, goes back over that summit, interpreting it in the light of the debates held at Deauville. Echoing the arguments of Brice Lalonde, the French ambassador with responsibility for climate negotiations, she shows the tangible results obtained at Copenhagen. But, apart from the difficulties always encountered by these summits, she also stresses how much the world has changed since the Rio conference of 1992 and how different are the groups of countries that now structure international negotiations.
She stresses, for example, the extent to which we saw at the Copenhagen Summit “a demonstration of power and strength on the part of the new powers,” driven, moreover, by antagonistic concerns, particularly between “the resolve to regard climate change as the number one priority and the desire to promote economic growth.” Far from dissolving into globalization, these groups of countries, rooted in different civilizations, find themselves caught up in new oppositions — particularly with the West.
Consequently, concludes Bettina Laville, the terms and forms of the negotiations have changed radically and new avenues need to be explored between “catastrophism and activism”, in order to implement a concerted strategy for a desirable future. She outlines some of these key avenues here.

Revue

Économie, emploi - Géopolitique

Europe and Carbon Pricing. Some Guidelines

The introduction of a national carbon tax involves taking account of the greenhouse-gas emission pricing mechanisms that are already in place. Since the impact of emissions is the same whatever their origin, the cost-benefit ratio of emission-reduction measures is minimized when the extension of the scope of emissions subject to carbon pricing respects the single-price rule.
In concrete terms, this means that national carbon taxes must take account in Europe of the European CO2 emissions trading system, which has since 2005 constrained the CO2 emissions of five major industrial sectors, representing around 50 % of European CO2 emissions. A market mechanism for carbon pricing has, then, to be made to co-exist with a fiscal pricing mechanism and, at the same time, European rules governing markets have to be made to converge with national rules on tax.
This article begins by assessing the operation of the European market in terms of transactions and prices. It shows the degree to which the overall scheme has evolved since its initial implementation period between 2005 and 2007, and reminds us of the implications of the move to auctioning that is planned for the third phase (2013-2020). The article then reviews the choices made by the different countries that have managed to run a national carbon tax alongside the European quota system. Going beyond the French case, it concludes by asking what are the most promising ways to extend carbon pricing in Europe.

Bibliography

Géopolitique

Europe 2030

À quoi ressemblera l’Union européenne (UE) en 2030 ? S’ils reconnaissent qu’il est pratiquement impossible de répondre à cette question, les auteurs réunis dans cet ouvrage proposent de réfléchir aux principales évolutions et aux grands défis auxquels la région pourrait être confrontée au cours des 20 prochaines années. Parmi ces spécialistes figurent notamment José Manuel Barroso, l’actuel président de la Commission européenne et Joschka Fischer, ancien ministre allemand des Affaires étrangères. En 20 ans, l’Union européenne ...

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Bibliography

Économie, emploi - Géopolitique

Monthly Bulletin

Dans le numéro de mars de son bulletin mensuel, la BCE s’intéresse à la récente dégradation des finances publiques des pays membres de l’UE (Union européenne) et envisage trois scénarios à l’horizon 2030. Au cours de l’année 2009, les déficits publics de tous les États membres se sont creusés, puisque la crise économique a entraîné une diminution de leurs recettes et une augmentation de leurs dépenses (plus ou moins importante selon la structure de leur système ...

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Bibliography

Géopolitique - Institutions - Santé

« What Could Health and Health Care in the US Look Like in 2020 ? »

À quoi ressemblera la sécurité sociale aux États-Unis en 2020 ? Alors que la réforme visant à étendre la couverture sociale au sein de la population américaine vient d’être votée, l’Institute for the Future propose quatre scénarios pour les 10 prochaines années. Croissance : le boom de l’économie de la santé D’importantes avancées sont obtenues en biotechnologie et en génétique, permettant d’améliorer les traitements de nombreuses maladies. Les coûts d’accès aux soins ne diminuent pas mais ...

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Revue

Géopolitique - Ressources naturelles, énergie, environnement

Paying for the Tropical Rainforests? The Prospects for an International Forests Regime based on their Remunerated Conservation

The forested surface of the Earth, which was estimated at 5 billion hectares at the beginning of the twentieth century now stands at less than 4 billion. Since the 1990s, 13 million hectares of tropical rainforest have disappeared every year throughout the world, which represents a reduction of 3 % per decade.
As Alain Karsenty reminds us here, deforestation, which has many and varied (economic, agricultural, demographic and cultural) causes, has serious consequences at both the local and the global levels. It endangers biodiversity, destroys soils and renders them infertile, affects the water-cycle and remains one of the main factors of global warming. Since forest soils and vegetation store significant quantities of carbon, their destruction represents a major source of CO2 emissions.
Successive policies have been implemented for conserving the forests and combatting deforestation since the 1980s, in an attempt to limit the loss of this ecosystem and damage to it. The outcomes, notes Alain Karsenty, have not been particularly successful. In this context, after describing these various global-level policies and the reasons for their lack of effectiveness, he raises the prospect of a new international regime “organized around the principle of the remunerated conservation of the tropical rainforests”, in which the credibility of states will be the crucial component. This is, he stresses, a fundamentally different regime, “insofar as its centre of gravity no longer lies in forest-management policies, but in the policies affecting the forests”.

Futuribles

Géopolitique

Bibliographie prospective n°80

La Bibliographie prospective du mois de mars 2010 consacre son Focus au rapport "OECD Economic Surveys: China" publié par l'OCDE, consacré aux évolutions récentes de l'économie chinoise et aux défis qui attendent la société et les responsables politiques à l'avenir. Vous trouverez par ailleurs, et comme chaque mois, une sélection de comptes rendus de livres, études et rapports à dimension prospective, et plus particulièrement pour ce numéro, dans les domaines de l'environnement, de l'Union européenne ...

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Tribune européenne

Économie, emploi - Géopolitique

The Feasibility of a European Tax

The European Commission was due to present proposals in 2009 for determining the budget of the Union from 2013 onwards. This budget comes today from a contribution based on the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the member states and from part of the receipts from Value-Added Tax (VAT).
Discussions have, however, given rise to some bitter polemics and encountered numerous obstacles. This column by Jean-François Drevet explores the various means that might be adopted to provide the Commission with resources of its own — in particular, VAT, corporation tax, the taxation of the financial system and the carbon tax.

CR table ronde

Géopolitique - Institutions

Les enjeux de la gouvernance mondiale

Face à la mondialisation croissante, donc à la montée des interdépendances et à la crise à la fois financière, économique, sociale et écologique actuelle, une véritable gouvernance mondiale paraît urgente. Or, l’Organisation des Nations Unies, dont les 192 pays membres disposent chacun d’une voix de poids égal, semble impuissante à prendre des décisions efficaces. Les initiatives récentes de « G7 » ou de « G20 » sont encore « en gestation incertaine », selon les termes d’Hugues de Jouvenel. La situation a vraisemblablement ...

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Revue

Géopolitique

The Caribbean and its Prospects

At different times in its history, the Caribbean has been a strategic region — initially with the arrival of the first Europeans in the late fifteenth century, then, among other things, by its proximity to the Panama Canal and later as a result of the Cuban revolution. But for some years now it has played a less important role internationally.
However, as Viktor Sukup points out, “Russia’s recent rapprochement with Cuba and Venezuela and the increasing engagement of China in the region” suggest that the Caribbean still has strategic importance. In this context, he ponders the future of the area, a region hit hard by the global economic crisis and threatened by the effects of climate change.
To examine the question, Sukup reviews the general outlines of the history of the Caribbean countries and delineates their social, economic and political situations. He then offers a number of key suggestions that can help the region to meet the challenges of the twenty-first century, stressing particularly the need for the Caribbean states to establish closer regional cooperation, to open up to the rest of the world, to diversify and upgrade their main industry, which is tourism, to exploit other areas of activity, such as craftwork, agriculture, fishing etc. and to develop the production of renewable energy sources.

Tribune européenne

Géopolitique - Société, modes de vie

Minarets, Switzerland and Europe

In late November 2009, the Swiss voted in a referendum to ban the construction of new minarets on their territory. That event, Jean-François Drevet reminds us, may be interpreted as an “[alarm] signal to the whole of Europe”, which still has “complex and uncertain relations with its Muslims and the [largely Muslim] countries on its eastern and southern periphery”.
In this context, Drevet asks what led the Swiss people to vote as they did, in order to draw significant lessons at the European level. He then reflects on the dimension to be accorded to religion and, more specifically, Islam, in the European Union’s foreign relations.

Revue

Géopolitique

Might it Not be Time to Wean Europe off America?On the Report Towards a Post-American Europe

It is time now for Europe to realize that the era of American hegemony is over and to act commensurately at the international level, argue Jeremy Shapiro and Nick Witney in their report, Towards a Post-American Europe, before going on to propose possible orientations for European foreign policy.
Bernard Cazes provides a short analysis of this report, which has been available on the Internet since November 2009, and stresses what a good job the authors have done of “forcing Europeans to face questions they are clearly reluctant to confront directly”.

Analyse prospective

Géopolitique - Institutions

Quels avenirs pour les organisations interétatiques mondiales ?

L’intensification de la mondialisation et les problèmes qui émergent de ce phénomène de grande ampleur entraînent depuis quelques années des réflexions sur l’architecture des organisations interétatiques qui seraient nécessaires, à l’échelle mondiale, pour maîtriser ces nouveaux défis. Plusieurs initiatives et de nombreuses propositions peuvent déjà être mentionnées. Mais pour s’interroger sur l’avenir dans ce domaine, trois étapes préalables sont indispensables. La première concerne le passé de ces organisations, en distinguant les institutions créées avant la ...

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Note de veille

Géopolitique - Ressources naturelles, énergie, environnement

La fonte de l’Arctique attise les convoitises

La fonte des glaces constatée en Arctique a des conséquences directes sur l’accès aux routes maritimes et aux ressources naturelles. Des climatologues estiment qu’en 2030, la fonte des glaces aura libéré les détroits de l’Arctique canadien de leurs glaces durant l’été. L’ouverture des passages pourrait permettre une exploitation commerciale des importants gisements d’hydrocarbures (mais aussi de métaux et de diamants), ainsi que l’établissement d’une route commerciale stratégique entre le Pacifique et l ...

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Bibliography

Géopolitique - Ressources naturelles, énergie, environnement

Re-Thinking 2050. A 100 % Renewable Energy Vision for the European Union

Les pays membres de l’Union européenne (UE) se sont fixé pour objectif d’utiliser au moins 20 % d’énergies renouvelables (ENR) dans leur consommation finale dès 2020. Il s’agit là d’un objectif réalisable, selon les auteurs de cette étude, qui considèrent que l’Europe pourrait même aller plus loin, et atteindre 100 % d’énergies renouvelables en 2050. L’UE importe actuellement 55 % de son énergie, et ce taux pourrait grimper à 70 % d’ici 20 ans (94 ...

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Revue

Géopolitique - Ressources naturelles, énergie, environnement

Water in Africa: Availability and Access

Global water consumption is growing at a furious pace, with freshwater abstractions having tripled in the last 50 years. And this demand — linked, among other things, to population growth, the needs of agri-food production, improved living conditions and industrial development — is set to go on growing strongly in the coming decades. Combined with climate change, this will put ever greater pressure on water resources. Yet, as of now, there are still more than 900 million people without access to adequate drinking-water resources, 340 million of them in Sub-Saharan Africa.
“In [such] a context, characterized by increasing shortages, good governance in respect of water management is more essential than ever. The fight against poverty also depends on our capacity to invest in this resource” declared Koïchiro Matsuura, Director-General of UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) last spring.
Focussing on West Africa, a region of more than 290 million inhabitants, made up of 18 countries that are interdependent in terms of water resources, Catherine Baron points up the problems of the availability of, and access to, water. She goes on to analyse the impact of the dissemination of the various water-management models devised at the global level that have come and gone since the 1980s. She then outlines various projects set up by populations at the local level. In this way, she draws attention to the fundamental issues within water-resource management in this region — characterized, as it is, by great inequalities — and the need to take the particularities of each society into account when a system is put in place, so that it can be better meshed with local realities.

Chapitre Géopolitique

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.