Cette page regroupe l'ensemble des publications de Futuribles sur cette thématique (Vigie, revue, bibliographie, études, etc.)
The article has three parts. In the first, Jacques Lesourne makes it clear that the terrorist attacks in September 2001 and their consequences unfortunately merely confirm what was foreseen by futures studies in earlier years. "September 11th was not unthinkable", he writes, and goes on to remind us that terrorism has existed for centuries, it is not linked uniquely to Islamic fundamentalism, and it is probably hopeless to try to eradicate it...
He also points out that since the United States has become the only Great Power in the world, it is the natural scapegoat. Furthermore, as he has often insisted, the Arab-Turkish-Iranian region is particularly dangerous, and this fact is not sufficiently clearly recognized by the democracies, which have tended to emphasize freedom at the expense of their security.
In the second part, Lesourne ponders the trends that might develop out of the September 11th attacks. He argues that Western countries will probably need to review their security policies and reevaluate their systems of defence. But he also foresees some shifts in the alliances, especially among the six main elements: the United States, European Union, Russia, Japan, China and India. Finally, he stresses that these events threaten to deepen the downturn in the world economy which had already begun, and to encourage governments to adopt coordinated regulatory policies.
Despite the hazards involved, Jacques Lesourne ends by sketching three scenarios with particular emphasis on what he takes to be the key variables: the nature of the American retaliation and its outcome, the movements of public opinion in Western countries, the degree to which the United States accepts great multilateralism, and the progress towards European unification.
Choosing from among 32 theoretically possible scenarios, he describes three that cover widely differing variations: the "minor event", "improvements in world governance" and "generalized disorder".
Following the terrorist attacks against the United States on 11 September 2001, Pierre Bonnaure reflects on "the surprising failure of the American secret services, which some say were caught totally unawares".
First he comments that the situation is not that simple and that many problems arise between anticipation and action, in particular knowing whether to take a warning seriously and what decision to take about timely action when considerable uncertainty and enormous risks are involved.
He nevertheless stresses that the secret services seem to have been unprepared for an attack that did not fit current expectations, terrorist attacks on several targets rather than an act of aggression by a "rogue state". He criticizes the shortsightedness of the intelligence authorities, emphasizing that this is not the first instance, and tries to understand the reasons for this failure.
In a few lines he reminds us of a series of problems facing what is now called strategic intelligence as well as those inherent in the interaction between thinking and action.
Let us not confuse Islam and the vast majority of the Muslim population, who want simply to live in peace, with Islamic fundamentalism, a fortiori with Islamic terrorism, says Gérard Donnadieu. He nevertheless proposes to analyse the factors within the religious ideas of Islam that might encourage violence, while also stressing that no religion is safe from extremism.
He goes on to explain that people can have widely differing attitudes to Islam, and then to outline the peculiar views of some fundamentalists, such as the Egyptian Hasan al-Banna, founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, and above all the Pakistani Maulana Abul Maudoudi, the founder of Jamat-i-islami, a radical Islamic movement, whose book Understanding Islam provides valuable insights.
Gérard Donnadieu sketches briefly three topics discussed by Maudoudi that he finds especially revealing:
- the absolute preeminence of Islam, which preaches unfaltering obedience to everything prescribed in the Koran and the charia;
- the supreme position of the "good Muslim" who is promised a place in Allah's paradise as a reward for irreproachable behaviour;
- the justification for resorting to violence: every Muslim must be ready to defend Islam and if necessary to join in the jihad (holy war). This radical version of Islam believes in sacrifice, and justifies the use of violence and war.
In the last part of his article, Gérard Donnadieu highlights the strengths and weaknesses of Islamic fundamentalism. He argues that, faced with the modern world and the problem of controlling violence, it is deeply archaic and that "we are probably only seeing the start of its violent and spectacular manifestations".
He concludes that "We cannot rule out the possibility that a non-sacrificial, pluralist and secularized version of Islam will emerge in the future", but this would require a more modern reinterpretation of the basic texts; this would be a major challenge first of all for the Muslim world.
A radical transformation of the aims, methods and organization of large-scale violence is now occurring: it is no longer limited to clashes between states, and the classic divisions are becoming blurred between civilians and the military, between private and public, between national and international, and ultimately even between war and peace...
In essence, this is the new landscape described by Geneviève Schméder, who shows how far we are witnessing a general move towards deregulation, led by the United States; this is not confined to the economic sphere and it leads to poverty and injustice, which in turn generate further violence.
Schméder highlights the negative effects of the economic and military policies of the United States, which has tried its utmost to impose its dominance on the rest of the world , hence the dislike of the US and the violence of the attacks against it.
In conclusion she puts the question: will the recent catastrophe cause the Americans to rethink their policies, as would seem to be the sine qua non for a new ordering of international relations?
The events of September 11th 2001 are a watershed; they mark the start of a new era, perhaps the beginning of a third world war. So opens the article by Michael Marien, who is very well-informed about the futures studies undertaken in the United States over the last 30 years and who, just after the September terrorist attacks, invited a dozen futures studies colleagues to react to the events and to suggest what consequences they might have.
He draws on their responses, as well as on about 30 texts available on the website of the World Future Society (www.wfs.org), in pointing out that many futurologists had already issued warnings about major terrorist action, although naturally they did not foresee the precise form that this would take.
Rather than describing the scenarios envisaged, Michael Marien outlines here the comments elicited by three types of question: those relating to war, and to the costs and the issues it may raise.
On the war itself, Marien stresses first the risk of further attacks, possibly even more serious ones using nuclear, biological or chemical means. Next, given that the war on terrorism will last a long time, he wonders about the chances of a positive outcome and worries about the strength of the alliances forged by the United States with Western nations where popular support for the war may weaken, as is even more likely in Muslim countries, especially Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.
As to the costs of the operation, the first question is obviously whether there will be, as there was after the Gulf war, a new period of prosperity or whether, on the contrary, the conflict will worsen the recession. But besides this economic aspect, Michael Marien stresses that the strengthening of security measures will probably be at the expense of individual freedom, and he wonders about the long-term future for such freedom. He mentions the sacrifices that Americans may have to make, as will the Muslim world, especially the Afghans who are already suffering great hardships. Finally, Marien is afraid that the war will push many important issues, such as global warming and the adoption of policies that promote sustainable development, further down the agenda.
As for the issues, Marien stresses two key points: first, the major challenge of stopping the flows of ill-gotten funds amounting to billions of US dollars and the consequent need to restructure and cleanse the international banking system. Second, provided that the international effort tackles the many real causes of terrorism, the recent events might mark the start of a new era (if the Americans learn the virtues of multilateral action) in which the world might become more concerned with fairness and solidarity, with respect for human rights and democracy...
There is no single European model for education, let alone a universally accepted one. Even within the European Union there is enormous diversity, which Francine Vaniscotte sets out to describe here.
Two different views coexist, she explains: the first combines primary education with the first stage of secondary education (everyone attends a single school), whereas the second considers an initial division (selection?) at the beginning of secondary schooling to be necessary.
Taking her analysis a step further, the author identifies four types of education system within the EU:
- the single school model (everyone attends the same school for the whole period of compulsory education) operating in Scandinavia;
- the all-purpose school model, offering pupils a variety of possibilities at secondary level (Great Britain);
- the streamed school model, which is structured according to options chosen early on, but with some degree of mobility between them; this is the most common arrangement in Austria, Germany, Luxemburg, Switzerland, etc.;
- the common core model (France, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain), which is inspired by the single school model but does not fully apply it, and is shaped by very different traditions and values.
These differences relate to religious traditions and to deep cultural disparities; they also reflect ideological differences, Francine Vaniscotte emphasizes, though she concludes by pointing out some factors bringing the models closer together.
The European Commission publishes an annual report on distance working in Europe. Anne de Beer, on the basis the 2000 Edition, observes that distance working is on the increase in Europe, in spite of the different forms it adopts and the significant differences in its popularity from one country to another.
For instance, this report reveals that although the number of distance workers in Europe rose above 10 million last year, this form of work is much more frequent in Scandinavian countries than in the Mediterranean, with France at the bottom of the list... except in terms of creating obstacles to its development.
Alain Michel proposes six scenarios for the future of schools in the industrialized countries over the next 15 to 20 years. The scenarios have been developed as part of the programme on "Tomorrow's schools" of the Centre for Research and Innovation in Education (CERI) at OECD (the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development).
Under the first scenario the status quo continues, which would mean generally deteriorating schools, despite some marginal improvements.
The second scenario, called "Extending the market model", shows what might happen if state schools were at least partly privatized, ultimately leading to a greater split between the public and private sectors in education.
The third scenario, called "Schools at the heart of the community", represents the exact opposite, in which education is considered to be a public good, and schools would play a key role in promoting citizenship.
The fourth scenario, too, "Schools as key learning institutions", tries to respond to the need to upgrade the role and prestige of education whilst placing greater emphasis on the responsibilities of schools to develop knowledge and skills.
By contrast, the remaining two scenarios reflect forms of decline. In the fifth, "Networks of learners" within a society composed of networks (typical of today! ) the main features are the fragmentation of national education systems, the diminishing role of the state and, simultaneously, the rise of local school systems and major networks.
The final scenario has the striking title "The flight of teachers and collapse". It foresees schools deteriorating and general discontent, especially on the part of parents and teachers. This is probably unlikely to occur within the next 20 years, and would happen only if there were major upheavals in the short or medium term.
Obviously these scenarios are not all equally probable, and are even less likely to occur in every part of the OECD area. Furthermore, some of them are more hypothetical while others are more normative. Nonetheless, they are extremely useful in quashing fears of possibilities that clearly remain open. They also show the importance of the issues facing schools today.
La prospective de l'aménagement de l'espace français doit intégrer une réflexion sur l'évolution de l'Union européenne, en particulier depuis la rédaction d'un document de référence : le SDEC. Ce Schéma préconise un développement spatial polycentrique, objectif partagé par la DATAR. Après s'être interrogé sur le statut du SDEC et sur la pertinence du concept de polycentrisme, on évalue les chances d'une Europe plus équilibrée. Un scénario purement tendanciel confirme la prééminence de l'Euromégalopole ...
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Faisant l'impasse sur des siècles de réflexion émanant de philosophes politiques sur la genèse de l'État, les formes de gouvernement et, en définitive, le devenir d'institutions publiques supposées incarner et être garantes du bien commun, voici venu le terme de " gouvernance ", mot valise s'il en est, qui donne lieu depuis quelques années à une abondante littérature. À l'origine de ce courant figure sans conteste la prise de conscience que l'État, seule instance légitime et ...
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Westphalia II: Towards a New World Order
The Treaty of Westphalia (1648) was at the origin of the Nation State defined as a sovereign entity with a specific territory and lead, at a global level, to intergovernmental institutions, which have now been rendered obsolete by a process of unfettered globalisation. It is hence high time to create, according to Kimon Valaskakis, if not a global governance system, at least an 'effective global guidance system'. This is the scope of what he has dubbed "Westphalia II".
The author first describes the institutions that came out of "Westphalia I" characterised, according to him, by sovereign Nation States within a specific geographical territory and represented by a Government, vested with the exclusive power to wage war and sign international treaties.
According to the author, because of the way globalisation has developed since 1945, this system is now under threat due to the simultaneous undermining of the sovereignty of States from the bottom (decentralisation), from the top (federalism) and transversally (market forces), due to the reduction in the impact of distance and due to the appearance of new actors on the world scene, new sources of law and new sources of conflicts. This globalisation without rules or referee is dangerous and a source of inequality and barbaric conflicts.
Therefore, according to Kimon Valaskakis, we need to invent a new form of governance for the 21st century, which could follow two very different scenarios. It could either be characterised by a privatisation of governance, a system governed by the market (a dollar = a vote), corporations or even organised crime, something that could lead to the worst excesses. Or it could follow a second scenario, dubbed "Westphalia II", leading to new public institutions which, according to the author who is the President of the Athens Club, can only be constructed on the basis of a new form of co-operation between political thinkers and actors aimed at building an 'effective global guidance system'. What could this be?
L'apparition de l'État au XVIe siècle a donné naissance à deux nouveaux types de guerre : les guerres interétatiques et les guerres civiles. Depuis la seconde moitié du XXe siècle, le rapport entre la fréquence des guerres interétatiques et celle des guerres civiles semble s'inverser au « profit » des secondes. À cet égard, l'étude précise et rigoureuse dont rend compte Les Guerres civiles semble plus que jamais d'actualité. Son auteur, professeur de sciences politiques, nous apporte un ...
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Cet ouvrage collectif regroupe toute une série de contributions visant à montrer les diverses facettes des révolutions qui se sont produites dans le domaine militaire du XIVe siècle à aujourd'hui. De fait, l'analyse historique ainsi produite ajoute beaucoup aux différents débats existants sur la « révolution dans les affaires militaires » (très discutés aux États-Unis, notamment). En revanche, le titre de l'ouvrage peut être trompeur dans la mesure où l'étude relative à la dynamique des révolutions militaires s ...
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Les travaux de prospective sont nombreux et ont proliféré à l'aube du troisième millénaire. Ils apparaissent d'autant plus nécessaires que la mondialisation a accéléré le temps et que comme le rappelle Gaston Berger « rouler vite sans rien voir serait proprement folie ». Ce guide pour des réflexions prospectives vient à point nommé pour présenter le processus de réflexion prospective, développer les étapes analytiques et montrer les intérêts et les limites des méthodes concernant les prospectives africaines. Préfacé par Alioune ...
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Same Bed, Different Dreams: Managing United States-China Relations, 1989-2000 (Berkeley : University of California Press, 2001, 510 p.), le dernier ouvrage de David M. Lampton, traitait des relations sino-américaines. L'auteur, directeur du programme d'études chinoises à la Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies et au Nixon Center de Washington, présente aujourd'hui un travail collectif qu'il a initié et dirigé depuis 1996 et qui étudie la politique étrangère de la république populaire de Chine (RPC) dans le ...
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Cet ouvrage de Robert McNamara et James Blight est un appel à la construction d'un nouvel ordre mondial. Selon eux, le XXe siècle s'est achevé sans solution capable de mettre un terme aux conflits et aux violences communautaires. S'inspirant, comme l'indique le titre du livre, de l'idéalisme et de la conception de la sécurité collective de Woodrow Wilson, ils proposent donc une série de mesures à inscrire à l'agenda politique, en matière de désarmement ...
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Fondée en 1967 à l'instigation de l'Indonésie, de la Malaisie, de Singapour, de la Thaïlande et des Philippines, l'Association des nations de l'Asie du Sud-Est (ASEAN, selon l'acronyme anglais) ne semblait guère être en mesure de ramener la paix et la stabilité dans une région alors décrite comme les « Balkans de l'Orient ». Mais l'ASEAN a survécu et son rôle dans le règlement du conflit cambodgien par les accords de Paris de 1991 a ...
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Cette étude présente la synthèse des travaux conduits par les équipes du BIPE sur les répercussions opérationnelles des changements démographiques. L'étude est déclinée en 5 parties principales qui permettent un usage commode et rapide pour des professionnels au sein de l'entreprise.
Ce deuxième rapport annuel sur la situation sociale en Europe fournit des données précieuses destinées à confirmer le rôle stratégique de la politique sociale au sein de l'UE tel qu'il a été défini par le sommet de Lisbonne puis celui de Nice. Il brosse tout d'abord un tableau global des principales tendances observées dans le domaine social (vieillissement, diminution de la taille des ménages, état de la cohésion sociale, conditions de travail et de vie...) au niveau ...
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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.