The Coming Epoch of New Coalitions: Possible Scenarios of the Near Future

World Futures 67 (8):531 - 563 (2011)
Abstract
This article analyzes some important aspects of socioeconomic and political development of the world in the near future. The future always stems from the present. The first part of the article is devoted to the study of some crucial events of the present, which could be regarded as precursors of forthcoming fundamental changes. In particular, it is shown that the turbulent events of late 2010 and 2011 in the Arab World may well be regarded as a start of the global reconfiguration. The article also offers an analysis of some aspects of the global financial system that, according to the authors, notwithstanding all its negative points, performs certain important positive functions including the ?insurance? of social guaranties at the global scale. The second part of the article considers some global scenarios of the World System's new future and describes a few characteristics of the forthcoming ?Epoch of New Coalitions.? The article attempts to answer such questions as the following: What are the implications of the economic weakening of the United States as the World System center? Will the future World System have a leader? Will it experience a global governance deficit? Will the world fragmentation increase?
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