Cette page regroupe l'ensemble des publications de Futuribles sur cette thématique (Vigie, revue, bibliographie, études, etc.)
In 2002, per capita GDP (gross domestic product) in France and the European Union was roughly 25% below that of the United States. Per capita GDP is related to several factors: hourly productivity rates, average working hours and the employment rates. In France, hourly productivity rates are very high, but working hours and the employment rates are low.
This explanation does not hold when the facts are examined, argues Cette, since productivity in general appears to fall as working time increases, hence less is produced in the 36th hour than in the 35th, and this is even more true concerning the employment rates, especially those of young people and workers aged over 50 which are particularly low in Europe, especially in France. Gilbert Cette points up this argument with the help of a comparison between the "observed" and the "structural" hourly productivity rates, with the latter distinctly higher in the United States than in Europe and Japan.
He shows that, ultimately, the improvement in productivity in the United States and the decline in Europe is largely due to the growth and, above all, the spread of information and communications technologies. However, for this to have the greatest multiplier effect, there must be not only an appropriate level of investment but also greater flexibility in the markets for goods and labour.
This article implicitly raises an important question about the balance to be struck between productivity and numbers in work, which is a real issue for society to decide.
Robert Toulemon, a committed European, reflects on the future of the UN institutions, arguing that the UN family, which today lacks legitimacy and is no longer truly representative, would benefit from following the example of the European Union (EU). After a brief survey of the international context and the current deficiencies in the system of global governance - illustrated recently by events in Iraq -, Toulemon sets out a series of prerequisites for such a reform, including the need to recognize the rise of nations like the Republic of South Africa and to promote democracy and the observance of human rights throughout the world.
The first steps towards reform, in his view, would be to take account of peoples and not just states; that done, to recognize and define in institutional terms the right to intervene in a country's internal affairs, which would inevitably mean greater co-operation between Europe, the United States and the South; finally, to organize the reform on a regional basis, i.e. foster the development of large regional groupings as interlocutors within the UN system. In this regard, just as EU institutions have served as models for regional groupings elsewhere in the world (in Asia, Latin America, etc.), they could also inspire the reform of different parts of the UN and their relationships with each other. For example, the UN Secretary General's office could evolve into a collegiate body responsible for safeguarding international law (as the European Commission does within the EU).
Aware that his proposals could be dismissed as utopian, Robert Toulemon offers other detailed suggestions (for funding, governance, etc.) and considers Europe as a pioneer in promoting the new global compromise that he has described.
In an article published in the July 2003 issue of the journal Prospect, Robert Skidelsky offered an analysis of how international relations might develop in future and set out three possible scenarios. Bernard Cazes provides a critical account of the article, discussing each of the three scenarios: Pax Americana, a new international balance of power and a new version of multilateralism. This analysis nicely complements the suggestions of Robert Toulemon, in this issue of Futuribles, with regard to the reform of the United Nations system, especially concerning the third scenario, a refurbished form multilateralism, which is the one that Robert Skidelsky seems to prefer.
In this opinion piece, Viviane du Castel surveys the current political and geostrategic situation in Russia following the overwhelming re-election of Vladimir Putin as President of the Russian Federation.
While representative democracy seems to be in a poor way, with opposition parties marginalized and the freedom of the press increasingly threatened, the economy is at a crossroads. A temporary halt to market reforms and a gradual "sovietization" of big industry is accompanied by major uncertainties generated by the clash between the Kremlin and the so-called oligarchs, who are seen as too powerful and too independent. Viviane du Castel discusses the range of options available to Putin during his second term, in which he holds all the political reins in his hands.
In terms of foreign policy, Russia's position today hardly differs from what it was under the Czars: it has to combine its ambitions vis-à-vis the West (i.e. Europe and the United States), the East (mainly China) and what the Russians still call "the near abroad", which this old imperial power cannot disregard for very long. Moreover, the Russian gambit towards China, the European Union and the Atlantic alliance - all now on its borders - can be seen clearly both in its direct international relations and in its actions in those areas that have often been viewed as an essential part of its outer defences: Kaliningrad, Moldavia, Ukraine, the Baltic states, the Caucasus and Central Asia remain the preferred regions where Russia exercises its muscle. Energy issues, for example, are a good indicator of Moscow's degree of influence on policy.
The real challenge for the country now is to achieve a balance among these three regional power games so as to maximize Russia's role and international influence.
Viviane du Castel provides here the keys to understanding the issues facing a Russian President who seeks to restore his office to the central role within the "vertical" power hierarchy that he wants to re-establish in the anarchic Federation that Russia is today.
Bruno Tertrais considère qu’il n’aurait que peu de choses à changer dans son livre La Guerre sans fin. L’Amérique dans l’engrenage s’il devait le publier aujourd’hui, et que son livre risque d’être d’actualité encore pendant longtemps. Convaincu que pour faire une bonne prospective, il faut d’abord faire une bonne rétrospective, Bruno Tertrais présente tout d’abord comment certains courants de pensée aujourd’hui très influents aux États-Unis sont apparus au cours ...
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In this article Rémi Perelman offers two scenarios for the way that relations may develop between the two regional giants undergoing "reconversion": China and Russia.
During a period of more than 20 years, despite their ideological links, Maoist China and the Soviet Union maintained their own kind of Cold War, assembling troops on their common borders because of fears of invasion. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Sino-Russian relations were normalized, as each country tried to secure its place on the world economic stage and resume its role as a "normal" participant in international relations.
While China quickly became a key economic player, Russia has struggled to make headway in this area. Both nations nevertheless remain important political and military powers, and their position in international discussions cannot be ignored. Along with the European Union, they constitute the only opposition to American dominance. Their effectiveness would be all the greater if they cooperated with each other.
Taking as his starting-point various recent instances of collaboration between the two countries and, more broadly, with the Central Asian republics, Rémi Perelman outlines two scenarios for 2025: in the first, the current situation continues, with each of the two nations trying to improve its own position but without hurting the other, though also without becoming a real threat to North America; in the second, moves are made towards pan-Asian regional integration and this creates a genuinely three-way system - but perhaps only two-way if Europe does not manage to maintain its position ...
L'entrée dans l'Union européenne des 10 pays entrants, le 1er mai 2004, ne ferme pas le chantier de l'élargissement : l'adoption de l'euro sera la prochaine étape de l'intégration des nouveaux membres. Ceci leur impose de respecter les critères définis dans le traité de Maastricht, et en particulier de participer au SME (système monétaire européen) bis pendant au moins deux années. Cette exigence est une source importante d'incertitude, car la convergence économique ne s ...
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Europe is currently experiencing an acute crisis. What can be done?
Pierre Bonnaure here outlines four possible scenarios for the future of the European Union, each of them corresponding to a different school of thought.
But above all, inspired by the "Delors method", he suggests a strategy which would relaunch the construction of a Europe worthy of its name.
Primarily, by recalling the central role that European institutions should play in the construction of a main communal body, he defines the principal constituants. Then, from this main body, by developing projects which, if need be, are suitably adaptable.
Assuming that this condition is met, Europe will, the author stresses, find itself confronted with major challenges:
- on an internal level, with expansion, the change from the industrial era to that of the knowledge-based society, and the essential reform of social welfare systems;
- externally, and perhaps a little more long-term, with the problem of the post-oil era, (or high-cost oil), competition from Asia and that of the European construction of a veritable policy of security and communal defence.
La faculté de sciences politiques de la UNAM (universidad nacional autónoma de México) a mis en place en 2003 un séminaire d'études prospectives. Ce séminaire, qui a intégré le noeud sudaméricain (subnodo) du Millennium Project, a mis en ligne en avril 2004 le premier numéro de sa revue électronique trimestrielle. Une rubrique " études de cas " explore l'avenir des États-Unis, avec quatre scénarios. Plusieurs textes éclairent la situation actuelle de ce pays, et des données factuelles (démographie, ressources énergétiques ...
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In this article General Alain Lamballe, who has held many high-level posts involving international strategic relations, stresses how the English-speaking nations, especially the British, have succeeded in "bagging" key posts in international bodies, whereas senior French civil servants have tended to be relegated to lesser positions, partly through bad personnel management and partly through inadequate training.
In particular, he shows how the British manage to monopolize key positions, especially when important strategic issues are at stake, thus enabling the English-speaking countries to impose their views on the conduct of business.
By contrast, he argues, France's problem lies in French policy with regard to senior international civil servants. In his view, after their initial training, such people are not given adequate long-term training or moved around enough to acquire the range of experience that ambassadors and senior military officers, for example, require in order to cope with the issues of globalisation.
Although at the end of 2003 the member states of the European Union were unable to reach agreement on a draft Constitution which would provide them with a full political framework, there are other areas -often thought to have greater strategic implications- where they are making rapid progress together. Space, in particular, is one such area, as illustrated by the Galileo programme to create a satellite-linked positioning and guidance system.
André Lebeau, a scientific adviser to Futuribles, presents here the ins and outs of the Galileo programme, which has as one of its main aims to develop a competitor for the American Global Positioning System (GPS), the only efficient satellite-linked guidance system currently available. After outlining the story of how the GPS was created and the numerous military, civil and industrial matters associated with it, Lebeau describes how the Europeans have organized this "counter-attack". He highlights the implications of this initiative for greater co-operation in Europe, because of the political and defence issues involved, if for nothing else.
In September 2003 Pierre Hassner, Director of Research at CERI (Centre d'études et de recherches internationales, Fondation nationale des sciences politiques), published the second volume of his Violence and Peace (La Violence et la paix), entitled La Terreur et l'empire (Paris: Seuil, 2003). The first volume, From the Atomic Bomb to Ethnic Cleansing (De la bombe atomique au nettoyage ethnique, Paris: Seuil, 2000), covered the collapse of the bipolar world order after the end of the Cold War; much of the second volume is devoted to an analysis of the upheavals since 11 September 2001, as well as to texts and articles written in recent decades.
The eminent French specialist in international relations first examines the changes currently taking place on the world stage and the thinking of the various actors involved (states, international institutions, transnational organizations, etc.). He then goes on to offer a range of extremely interesting theoretical insights based on ideas developed by the most famous observers of international relations, from Kant to Francis Fukuyama, by way of such people as Hegel, Samuel Huntington and Henry Kissinger.
Alain Lamballe has produced a detailed review for Futuribles in which everyone, whether or not they are familiar with the issues of international relations, will find food for thought about what is happening in the world today.
L'e-santé, définissable comme l'utilisation des technologies de la société de l'information dans le secteur de la santé, devient l'une des grandes priorités des programmes sanitaires de l'Union européenne : du dossier médical informatisé à la télémédecine, en passant par la géolocalisation (utile notamment pour les aveugles ou les missions de premiers secours), l'évolution du système de soins sera radicale. C'est donc logiquement que l'IPTS (Institute for Prospective Technological Studies) a choisi l'e-santé ...
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Le concept de mise en réseau informatique des forces, à l'origine « Network-Centric Warfare (NCW) », terme aujourd'hui de plus en plus remplacé par celui de « Network-Centric Operations (NCO) », est apparu au milieu des années 1990. Devenu depuis le principal cadre de transformation de l'armée américaine préconisée dans des documents tels que Joint Vision 2020, il vise principalement la mise en réseau de l'ensemble des protagonistes d'une action armée (militaires mais aussi parfois civils) en vue de ...
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Ce rapport, produit par un groupe d'experts de la Commission européenne (CE), présente une vision de ce que devrait offrir le secteur nanoélectronique d'ici les 15 prochaines années. Les experts identifient également les impacts que devraient avoir ces changements sur le développement d'autres secteurs économiques. L'Europe souhaite occuper une position de leader en ce qui concerne la recherche-développement (R&D) du secteur nanoélectronique. La CE rappelle que pour réaliser cet objectif, l'Union européenne (UE) doit créer ...
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TRANSVISION a pour but de relier des régions voisines, proches culturellement et historiquement, mais appartenant à des juridictions et des systèmes politiques différents. Les régions de ce type peuvent tirer profit de leur proximité géographique à travers une harmonisation de leurs infrastructures, des projets de recherche communs, la coopération entre leurs universités...
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.