Cette page regroupe l'ensemble des publications de Futuribles sur cette thématique (Vigie, revue, bibliographie, études, etc.)
Not everyone who changed history is regarded as a hero by later ages. One such is the German scientist Fritz Haber, who seems to embody the two sides of scientific progress, both bringing improvements to human life and endangering it.
A Jew who became a Protestant, he began his scientific career by wishing to preserve humanity from possible famine and finding an efficient way of synthesizing ammonia. But very soon he devoted his research to developing gases and explosives to help the German war effort in World War I. After the war he was accused of war crimes but nonetheless received the Nobel Prize for chemistry in 1919. He went on to invent Zyklon gas, which was later used by the Nazis to exterminate the Jews.
Two recent books try to capture the personality of this scientist via two different literary forms: Daniel Charles has written a straight biography whereas David Vandermeulen has produced a comic strip version. Jean-Jacques Salomon presents and comments on the two books, reminding us of the main events in Fritz Haber's life and the repercussions they had for the whole of the human race.
Depuis novembre 1995 et la fameuse déclaration de Barcelone, la Méditerranée vit au rythme du Partenariat euro-méditerranéen (PEM)1, dont les résultats n'ont pas été jusqu'ici à la hauteur du vent de promesses suscité. Force est d'admettre l'originalité stratégique que présente le projet de Barcelone, dont l'un des fondements vise à induire un développement partagé entre les deux rives du Bassin pour constituer un ensemble régional progressivement intégré. En quelque sorte, cette Euro-Méditerranée rêvée vise ...
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The European Community has grown from the six founder member states who created it after the Second World War to the present 25. The European Union now stretches from the Atlantic in the west to the Carpathians in the east, from Scandinavia in the north to the Mediterranean in the south, not forgetting the "ultra-peripheral" areas, such as the French overseas territories, the Spanish Canary Islands or the Portuguese island of Madeira. Other countries are expecting to join in 2007 (Rumania and Bulgaria), or are official candidates for membership (Turkey) or are waiting in the queue (the Balkan countries, for example). But can the EU continue to expand despite becoming somewhat bogged down politically and the fact that the latest enlargement was somewhat half-hearted? And if the answer is yes, how many more countries should be admitted, and on what basis and according to what criteria?
Jean-François Drevet, an expert on European issues, surveys the current state of the Union and the policies already under way or to come with regard to its relations with its neighbours in the broadest sense (from the former Soviet Union to the southern Mediterranean countries). He argues that the motives behind expansion have always been basically political (e.g. to shore up democracies) and presents the policies that could be envisaged in dealing with countries on the fringes of Europe. He concludes by pointing out that past policies have created many precedents that will complicate negotiations with most of the countries wishing to join the EU; the solution may be to stress the notion of a "circle of friends".
The decision of most of the heads of state of Arab nations not to attend the European/Mediterranean summit meeting in Barcelona at the end of November 2005 was a strong warning to the European Union of the difficulty it is going to have in establishing a clear policy vis-à-vis its southern neighbours and the distrust that this creates among them. Sébastien Abis, who specializes in the Mediterranean, assesses the current state of co-operation between Europe and countries bordering the Mediterranean, as well as how this might change in future.
After first describing the European-Mediterranean Partnership launched in Barcelona in 1995, he shows how slow the EU has been to honour many of the promises made then and how disillusioned the EU's partners have become as a result. In addition to the changes in the geopolitical context that have occurred in the last ten years, he stresses the inherent problems of the Mediterranean basin and the inequalities that persist there. In conclusion, Sébastien Abis proposes five possible scenarios for the future of relations between the EU and its Mediterranean neighbours, ranging from deterioration to increased co-operation, although he fears that the trend towards stagnation or deterioration will prove to be predominant, given how little drive the EU puts into genuine assistance for the countries to the south.
According to many commentators, the nuclear co-operation agreement signed by the United States and India on 2 March 2006 sounds the death knell for the treaty on the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons. India, which never signed the treaty, will benefit from technology transfers from the United States for its civilian nuclear programme, but it can also pursue its military programme free from any international control.
As this article stresses, this is a striking example of double standards, when one thinks of Israel or Iran (among others), and one that could furthermore destabilize the whole of Asia, given that Pakistan and China both have nuclear weapons. After recalling the sequence of events since the end of the Cold War with regard to disarmament and efforts to limit nuclear proliferation, the author shows how hypocrisy and cynicism prevail among the members of the nuclear club, and how difficult it could become to ensure stability and peace among nations, given this situation.
The text is an extract from a book entitled Les Scientifiques (The Scientists) that is almost ready for the press and that should appear before the end of the year. The author, Jean-Jacques Salomon, gives a foretaste to readers of Futuribles.
La publication de la Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) est considérée par les spécialistes des questions internationales et de sécurité et défense comme un " temps fort " de la pensée stratégique américaine. Ce document synthétique est censé encadrer líaction du Department of Defense (DoD), et en particulier sa gestion des hommes et des matériels, sa planification des programmes díarmement prioritaires et sa programmation budgétaire pour les quatre années suivantes. La publication de la QDR 2006 était très attendue pour plusieurs raisons : - il ...
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Intellectuals in the 1920s were much concerned to find new forms of economic, social and political organization capable of meeting the challenges of modern times and of giving practical expression to the pacifist attitudes which were widespread after the First World War. In this context, the idea of a union of the countries of Europe began to emerge: for those in favour, it had the double advantage of preventing any fresh conflict and of strengthening the nations of the Old World vis-à-vis the rising power of the United States and the Soviet Union. Thus the idea of a united Europe was fashionable in the 1920s, and the Revue des Vivants reflected this in 1929 by organizing a competition on the theme of "the United States of Europe", then publishing the best contributions.
Claude du Granrut offers us here a summary that reveals, as well as the visionary character of the writings chosen, how the issues dominating European unification have remained much the same down to the present day. This article is useful in both showing how much progress has been made but also highlighting the questions that still need to be resolved after more than 70 years.
A year ago, the debate on the draft European Constitution was in full swing in France ahead of the referendum on 29 May 2005. As we stressed in these pages (n° 307, April 2005), the discussions sometimes strayed a long way from the issues actually raised by the constitutional treaty. At the end of May 2005, the French voted decisively against the Constitution (almost 55% of the votes cast). Was the cause of this rejection genuine disquiet about the text to be voted on or, more generally, grievances about the European Union; or was the referendum simply an opportunity to express other criticisms which had more to do with the political, economic and social situation in France?
To answer this question, Eddy Fougier has analysed and compared a range of polls carried out after the referendum in France, but also in the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Spain (the three other members of the EU that held a referendum about the Constitution). He presents the results of this exercise here, and finds four main categories of reasons for the French "No": punishment of the government in power, anger about unemployment and social insecurity, rejection of economic ultraliberalism, and opposition to EU enlargement (both already achieved and planned) - these last two aspects combining with a certain degree of apprehension about globalization on the part of many in France.
The question of whether Turkey should eventually be allowed to join the European Union was much in the news in 2005, and worked its way into the debate about the European Constitution even though it was not relevant. Independently of the political debate about the legitimacy of Turkey's admission to the EU, Frédéric Allemand has looked at the possible repercussions of Turkey joining for the way the Union's institutions operate, in view of the country's sheer demographic size and growth.
Relying on a variety of population forecasts (United Nations, Eurostat, etc.) to 2025 for the current EU member states, those already in the queue (Bulgaria, Romania, the Balkan states, etc.) and Turkey, Frédéric Allemand has calculated the voting weight that Turkey would have, based on population, in the Council of Ministers, the European Parliament and various other bodies, in the context of a greatly enlarged European Union and on the assumption that current arrangements for decision-making remain unchanged. He points out that, as the most populous country, Turkey would effectively have the same influence on decision-making as a "big" nation, like the four current "big" members (France, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom), who would see their relative weight reduced. But for one thing, this reduction in the relative importance of the current "big" four would just be part of a general trend that has been developing over the last three decades. For another, Turkey's large size need not translate into actual influence on the decision-making process, as experience shows that there is a certain distrust of the big countries which can often lead to their being marginalized.
China is much praised for its economic performance and its rapid growth; much less mention is made of its diplomatic activities even though they are very persistent. Alain Lamballe unveils some aspects of Chinese policies in South Asia, showing how China is forging close links with its South Asian neighbours, especially India, but also Pakistan and Burma.
By building infrastructure, financing strategic bases and developing industrial linkages China is increasingly strengthening its position throughout the Asian continent for a combination of economic, political and security reasons. The Chinese strategy, aimed at offsetting the influence of the United States in the region, could in the long run help to reduce some regional tensions (Kashmir, in particular) and upset the international status quo, especially if India joins in. According to Alain Lamballe, the 21st century could then indeed be the century of Asia.
Le président Boris Eltsine avait le regard essentiellement tourné vers l'Occident. Son successeur, Vladimir Poutine, a remplacé la faucille et le marteau par l'Aigle tsariste à deux têtes - qui regarde et domine l'Est et l'Ouest - et rééquilibré la diplomatie de son pays en l'engageant résolument vers l'Asie.
The Chechen war has now been going on for more than ten years and more often than not gives rise to oversimplications. The Kremlin announced the end of the war and the start of a phase of "normalisation"; the Western powers prefer to ignore a conflict that is all the more embarrassing for them because the Russian government presents its actions as maintaining order and thus helping to combat terrorism. On the ground, those demanding independence from Russia have no democratic representation and the most resolute dissidents are linked to Islamic fundamentalist groups. For their part, the non-governmental organizations criticize the rigging of the elections and Russian exactions, but what they say is stifled in Russia by official propaganda and the strength of nationalist sentiment, and at international level by the desire not to upset the Russian government. Most of those involved are therefore ready to believe in the "return to normality" in Chechnya.
In this article Laurent Vinatier analyses the forms this "normalisation" takes, above all in the light of the last parliamentary elections in November 2005. He argues that the "normality" is just a façade and "hides the reality of violent antagonism between two rival powers, each one based on an undeniable legitimacy, though a declining one". Chechnya today is stuck in a political impasse and the scenarios presented by Laurent Vinatier for resolving the conflict or in which it deteriorates all require intervention by external forces.
With the end of the Cold War, many hoped that there would gradually be less cause to resort to war; 15 years later, this has clearly not happened. Violence persists in various forms: civil wars, ethnic cleansing, genocide, terrorism, etc. What should the response be, especially on the part of a democratic country? Can violence be used against violence and, if so, according to what "rules"? Are there circumstances when intervention is more permissible than others?
These are some of the issues discussed here by Jean-Jacques Salomon, in reviewing a multi-author study edited by Pierre Hassner and Gilles Andréani (Justifier la guerre? De l'humanitaire au contre-terrorisme [Justifiable War? From Humanitarian Aid to Counter-terrorism]. Paris: Presses de Sciences Po, 2005), as well as several other books about ethical questions in international relations. In this debate, the sharp contrast between the European and American attitudes obviously take centre-stage, along with the problem of the United States' readiness to act unilaterally, combined with its refusal to submit to international law with regard to waging war and respecting prisoners' rights.
À quoi ressemblera l'Europe de 2050 ? C'est à cette question que tente de répondre l'Agence européenne de l'environnement à travers son étude Prelude (PRospective Environmental Analysis of Land Use Development in Europe). En prenant comme point de départ une description des paysages européens (Union européenne, Norvège et Suisse) actuels, l'AEE imagine différents scénarios d'évolution des paysages. Prelude utilise le mode narratif pour décrire des scénarios en se basant sur un certain nombre d'indicateurs ...
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Cette série de trois rapports disponibles en ligne s'intéresse à l'avenir de l'industrie de défense au niveau européen. Le premier texte définit le secteur européen de l'industrie de défense, sa taille, sa structure et son volume d'emploi et ses grandes caractéristiques, le deuxième étudie plus en détail les tendances et facteurs de changement essentiels, enfin le troisième soulève un certain nombre d'enjeux et de défis pour le futur. Sans offrir d'innovation réelle dans ...
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L'Agence Européenne de l'environnement constate que l'augmentation des émissions de CO2 dans l'Union européenne (UE) en 2003 et 2004, tirées essentiellement par l'accroissement des émissions du transport et de l'industrie, place l'UE-15 à un niveau d'émissions de 0,9 % inférieur à celui de 1990, soit seulement un dixième du chemin à accomplir pour atteindre l'engagement de - 8 % à l'horizon 2008-2012. Mais ses projections sont optimistes : si la poursuite des politiques ...
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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.