Cette page regroupe l'ensemble des publications de Futuribles sur cette thématique (Vigie, revue, bibliographie, études, etc.)
This article argues that we need to develop foresight studies with a strong geopolitical element, although it also stresses the need, as a preliminary, to meet the challenge of finding a way of capturing the dynamics of the contemporary world situation which is as relevant as possible - a world that clearly no longer resembles the world of the past, heavily dominated as it was by the interaction of nation-states and above all by the Cold War with its head-on confrontation of two opposing blocs operating according to a common logic.
In the absence of an apposite system of representation, the approach offered by Samuel Huntington in his book on The Clash of Civilizations met with great success. The essence of Huntington's thesis is that the civilization paradigm is the best means of analysing, perhaps of anticipating, changes in international relations. The article sets out the main points of Huntington's thesis and then examines what led up to it and, in particular, what its basis and limitations are.
Nevertheless, Hugues de Jouvenel recognizes the need to acquire new tools for deciphering a world where there is a vast increase in global interdependency as well as in tensions and conflicts that should not be viewed solely in terms of differences in culture or civilization, even if these factors undoubtedly play a growing role.
Hugues de Jouvenel concludes by raising the issue of the sense of identity and of belonging to communities of more or less shared values and interests which operate according to models that are sometimes quite unlike those of the past when geopolitics was considered to be the exclusive domain of states and the relationships they forged with one another. He therefore argues that we should thoroughly overhaul our ways of looking at the world which will undoubtedly determine, as always, the way we perceive possible futures.
This month Jean-François Drevet devotes his opinion piece on European affairs to the European Central Bank. Although there are still reservations, especially in France, about the Bank and about a common European currency, he argues that it is useful. He stresses, too, that the Euro "protects but does not energize" the economies of member countries, hence the need to make greater efforts to develop common economic policies.
Following its expansion to 27 members with the admission of Bulgaria and Rumania in January 2007, the European Union remains open to absorbing further new members, in particular Turkey - even though membership negotiations were suspended in 2006 because of the Cyprus problem. As is well known, the possibility of Turkey joining the EU has generated very mixed reactions from public opinion in some member states (including France), but what do the Turks feel?
Jean-François Drevet discusses the sources of the problems: domestic matters (democracy, rule of law, etc.) and foreign affairs issues (tensions with Greece, the Cyprus question, the Kurdish problem...). He stresses in particular that the Turkish government is perhaps not all that keen to join the EU, to judge from its resistance and reluctance to meet the criteria set by the existing member states. In contrast with previous negotiations (Mediterranean countries, Central and Eastern Europe), the Europeans must now deal with a country whose government, along with some of its people, is in no hurry to adapt to the European model. Perhaps it might be wise, the author argues, to allow Turkey to advance at its own pace before examining its possible suitability for entry.
The European Union has decided that electricity supply should be opened up to greater competition; in France the last phase will be reached in July 2007. However competition, which is supposed to bring about lower prices and improvements in the quality of service, threatens in fact to deliver none of these benefits, according to the honorary president of Électricité de France (EDF).
One reason for this is that the EDF's prices were already well below those in the rest of Europe because the firm has always been strictly managed; this factor has been much more important than the advantages which some consider that the EDF derives from its nuclear power plants. Another reason is that there are inevitable limits to competition because of the "natural monopolies" related to the distribution networks.
Lastly, Marcel Boiteux, arguing from the EDF's experience, warns us against the Brussels authorities' rather too blind faith in market forces. He demonstrates here, adducing specific examples, how naive it is to imagine that the best results are spontaneously achieved by the market alone. Along the way, he offers justifications for France's decision to rely on nuclear power and the investments made to that end; he points out that, while the EDF did indeed enjoy some state support, the state benefited much more.
Why have a European Op-Ed section in Futuribles?
The unforeseen events that occurred in Europe starting in 1989 have brought about great upheavals on the continent as the static situation after 1945 suddenly started to change at unprecedented speed. The rapid spread of the market economy, and to a lesser extent of democracy, in Eastern Europe radically altered diplomatic relations and generated a strong demand for international co-operation and for some degree of shared sovereignty.
This situation has brought with it new challenges for foresight studies. Whereas in the 1970s 1980s there was plenty of time to analyse what might happen in Europe, it is now necessary to keep ahead of the constantly changing scene in order to maintain both its role in exploring possibilities and the quality of its work.
These transformations are closely linked to the moves towards European unification: expansion of the European Union, development of as yet ill-defined policies towards its neighbours, and the first hesitant steps towards a common policy on security and defence.
Indeed, the role of EU institutions is often not properly appreciated since information about them tends to be limited, biased or incomprehensible. As recent debates have shown, this can sometimes result in serious failures to analyse situations correctly, which leads to erroneous assessments of the future of Europe and of the world in general.
For all these reasons, we have decided to include a new section in Futuribles which will examine aspects of current affairs in Europe that have a future-oriented dimension and could therefore be valuable for analyses of what is happening in France or other European nations. The intention is not to take the place of existing publications, nor even to comment on all the varied and complex events occurring in Europe, but rather to highlight some things that could help to promote a better understanding of possible future developments. The editor of the section will be Jean-François Drevet, a former civil servant with the European Commission; his views are obviously freely expressed and are his alone. The first article of this section deals with the Slovak opposition to a common position of the EU foreign and security policy on the independence of Kosovo.
The deterioration of the world's environment, and in particular the ever greater likelihood of global warming, is the subject of an increasing number of studies. But what is known about the environmental situation in Europe? Despite the political impasse that the European Union is currently in, what are the individual member states doing about the environment?
The EU's policy on the environment dates back to 1973, and is remarkable as one of the few areas where the member states appear to accept restrictive agreements unanimously and try afterwards to respect them. Furthermore, the activities of the European Environment Agency seem not to attract the criticisms levelled at most other EU institutions.
As Thierry Lavoux explains in this article, the EU's measures have made it possible to stop using both lead in petroleum products and chlorofluorocarbons. The latest challenge for the member states is to reduce their emissions of greenhouse gases (especially by meeting the Kyoto criteria) at the same time that emissions generated by the transport and construction sectors are growing steadily.
In addition, he stresses, the member states need to be concerned by threats to their ecosystems from urban sprawl, massive use of pesticides and irrigation, and overfishing...
Lastly, says Thierry Lavoux, the EU members must quickly apply their minds to ways of making their agriculture more sustainable and limiting their production of toxic chemicals.
Le 4 mars 2007, la Chine a annoncé pour 2007 un budget militaire de 45 milliards de dollars, une augmentation de 17,8 % par rapport à 2006. La croissance spectaculaire du budget de la défense se poursuit depuis 10 ans et permet le renforcement quantitatif et qualitatif des forces armées chinoises. L'objectif affiché par les autorités d'un " développement pacifique " n'interdit pas de poser la question des intentions chinoises dans une situation internationale marquée par l'écrasante suprématie ...
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Le succès de l’ouvrage a étonné l’auteur. En effet, il s’agit avant tout d’une courte tentative de synthèse de beaucoup de ses travaux antérieurs, une sorte de rapport d’étape. La plupart des idées et analyses qui le composent ont été plus ou moins développées dans de précédents ouvrages de Jacques Attali (Histoires du temps ; Dictionnaire du XXIè siècle. Paris : Fayard, respectivement 1982 et 1998, etc.). Trois principes le guident lorsqu’il s’interroge sur l ...
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L'équipe du Laboratoire européen d'anticipation politique (LEAP) conduit depuis plus d'une décennie une analyse des tendances lourdes affectant la sphère linguistique dans l'Union européenne (UE). Ces anticipations sont porteuses de nombreuses conséquences quant à l'évolution politique de l'UE, puisque les langues ne sont pas des instruments neutres de communication mais bien les véhicules de visions du monde et de la société. Et à travers ces tendances d'avenir, on peut mieux cerner de plus ...
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Dans un article intitulé " Different Paths of Asian Giants ", publié par le Straits Times de Singapour, trois universitaires, Ramkishen S. Rajan (George Mason University), David A. Kelly (National University of Singapore) et Gillian H. L. Goh (National University of Singapore) reviennent sur les voies de la croissance telles qu'elles ont été empruntées par l'Inde et la Chine. Les chemins ont été différents mais se rejoignent aujourd'hui et les deux pays se mettent à l'école l'un ...
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Dans un rapport intitulé Asia's coming Water Wars, publié par The Power and Interest News Report, Chietigj Bajpaee, chercheur associé au Center for Strategic and International Studies de Washington D.C. attire l'attention sur le rôle de l'eau comme denrée stratégique et facteur croissant de conflictualité en Asie : au XXIe siècle, l'Asie pourrait émerger comme le nouveau foyer des conflits liés à l'eau
At the European Union summit in Lisbon in 2000, the member states committed themselves to making Europe "the most competitive and dynamic economy" in the world. Seven years later, there seems little chance of achieving this objective for research by 2010. By international standards, the EU is not doing well, and is still lagging behind countries like the USA and Japan, with regard to both the amount of investment in research and the results obtained; this is even more true of innovation.
One of the reasons for this poor showing is the lack of co-ordination of research at national, intergovernmental and EU levels, argues Pierre Papon. In order to improve this situation, it is urgent for member countries to increase their spending on research and for them to do more to develop Europe-wide research programmes by combining their efforts.
The priority given to research in Europe obviously influences the scale of scientific discoveries Europe makes and hence to some extent the EU's opportunities for innovation, says Pierre Papon, but also the image that its own residents and other nations have of the EU.
Depuis bientôt 30 ans, la fibre optique jusqu'au domicile (Fiber To The Home, FTTH) est présentée comme le vecteur futur et universel de toutes les communications numérisées. Cependant, son avancement n'est pas encore au rendez-vous. Le rapport 2007 Perspectives des communications de l'OCDE (Organisation de coopération et de développement économiques), qui fait le point sur les performances du secteur des télécommunications dans la zone OCDE et les moyens d'y parvenir, situe la fibre optique parmi les ...
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« Devenir l'économie de la connaissance la plus compétitive et la plus dynamique du monde, capable d'une croissance économique durable accompagnée d'une amélioration quantitative et qualitative de l'emploi et d'une plus grande cohésion sociale. » Tel est le projet européen énoncé dans la conclusion du Conseil européen de mars 2000 et désigné sous le terme de « stratégie de Lisbonne ». Ce document entend exposer aussi clairement que possible son contenu, ses mécanismes et ses résultats actuels. Décidée et ...
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En 2003, le Joint Doctrine and Concepts Centre du ministère britannique de la défense a publié un rapport intitulé Strategic Trends, dont l'objectif était d'anticiper l'évolution générale et les changements susceptibles d'affecter la géopolitique mondiale dans les 30 prochaines années. Chaque dimension (ressources, sociale, science et technologie, économie, droit et institutions internationales, politique et militaire) était analysée en termes de tendances lourdes, mais également des ruptures possibles des « shocks » qui étaient toujours mis en relation avec ...
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Au-delà de l'union politique et monétaire des États européens, quelles conditions de vie les Européens partagent-ils ? Dans la cinquième édition de Living Conditions in Europe, Eurostat a regroupé les données disponibles concernant les conditions de vie des Européens. En 2004, l'Europe des 25 (UE-25) représentait 461 millions de personnes, soit 7,2 % de la population mondiale (contre 11 % en 1970). Cette même année, plus d'un cinquième de la population européenne avait moins de 20 ans et 4 ...
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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.