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Strategic Trends 2014

Key Developments in Global Affairs

In 2012, the authors of Strategic Trends concluded that the international system was best described as ‘polycentric’. In a polycentric world, global leadership is in short supply as new power centres emerge and drive political fragmentation. At the same time, the term ‘polycentric’ implies that no single pole controls all dimensions of power. Hence, structural interdependencies are an important component of the evolving international system. The transformation of the international system continues and gives rise to challenges at various interrelated levels. Strategic Trends 2013 reflects on changes in the geostrategic context and the nature of unfolding crises, as well as on the responses they have elicited.The chapters of “Strategic Trends 2014” all describe aspects of the long expected shift in the geopolitical balance. This shift is different and far more evolved and complex than the well-established narrative of surging emerging nations, especially in Asia, gradually replacing Western influence in regions, markets, and policy issues. Beyond a mere decline of Western influence, the chapters of this volume reflect a basic insecurity over the future direction of these geopolitical shifts. Long expected developments – the US increasingly disengaging at least from Europe, Europe itself struggling to live up to its geostrategic aspirations – that could provide a secure framework to interpret global events, face new developments. Taken together, the five chapters in this volume of CSS Strategic Trends highlight elements of a world in which the West is losing ground. As a result, the global order faces not necessarily decreasing stability, but increasing strategic insecurity.

Autoren: Michael Haas, Jonas Grätz, Prem Mahadevan, Lisa Watanabe, Martin Zapfe
Center for Security Studies (CSS), ETH Zurich


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