Preface - Мир через 100 лет: сборник статей
This publication is exceptional for the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC). As a rule, the Council’s publications – from working papers and reports to reference books and multi-volume anthologies – cover speciﬁc issues of world politics and review current international affairs. Even if the authors of these articles make predictions, they are mainly short- and midterm forecasts. By contrast, this book is a collection of materials reﬂecting the authors’ ideas of what the world will be like in 100 years.
No doubt, 100 years is a very long period of time. Hardly anyone can give a detailed picture of our life 100 years from now. At the beginning of last century no one could predict our life today. Even so, thinking about distant future is by no means an idle pursuit, not least because it gives us a better understanding of today’s realities and trends. In this collection, 50 experts analyse the future of political ideas, world politics, countries and regions, war and peace, and the long-term development of the economy, infrastructure and social life.
The overall image of the world in 100 years is no less diverse than that of today’s one. Many emerging trends will grow stronger over time. Some of the old problems will persist. The relations between states will be far from eternal peace. However, as far as one can judge, the trend towards greater global interdependence, an obvious result of humanity’s development throughout the XX century and the beginning of the XXI century, will remain at the start of the next century. There are several reasons for this, the most important of which are connected with the universal introduction of digital technologies, population’s increased geographical and social mobility, formation of a single international ﬁnancial system and new opportunities, which opened up due to the use of nuclear energy, including in the military sphere.
Based on the past experience, and considering the rapid pace of modern development, is it possible to work out an effective model of behaviour for the future world? The answer to this tricky question is important for states, business and civil society. And there is no universal answer to this question. But it is obvious that the chances of getting a valid response will be greater if we study the new realities of this diverse and fast-changing world more persistently. Acquiring new knowledge can only be fully effective if there is a dialogue among various public representatives, peoples, professional and expert communities. In publishing these articles in Russian and English on 50 different issues we are opening a dialogue not only with a wide circle of experts who specialise in making forecasts, but also with the future itself. We hope that these articles will give food for thought and encourage us to identify new, more effective and durable models of responsible global development.
President of the Russian International Aff airs Council,
Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Doctor of History,