chapter  10
17 Pages

Conclusions: resisting the temptations of remedies, mirages and fairy-tales

The CIA report, Global Trends 2015, warns of the dangers associated with the polarisation between winners and losers in the first fifteen years of the twenty-first century. It talks about the forecast global economic boom (compared with that of the 1960s and 1970s) and argues that there is a growing global middle class which is now ‘two billion strong’ (CIA, 2000: 22). The basic trend towards the expansion of international trade is seen in the report as both inevitable and inexorable and we are told that there are real risks of emerging market countries and economies ‘falling’ behind, save for a few possible ‘breakout candidates’ (CIA, 2000: 22) such as China and India that might manage to escape this prescribed scenario. Great swathes of the globe are seen as characterised by ‘endemic’ corruption and political instability which is not regarded as the product of foreign interventions but of internal breakdowns or autocracy (particularly in the Middle East and North Africa). Growth will be uneven, it is recognised, and liberalisation and globalisation will inevitably ‘create bumps in the road’ which may be highly disruptive. The possibility of instability and turmoil spreading (from Russia to Brazil) is also recognised in the report, with the US economy identified as ‘the most important driver of recent global growth’ (CIA, 2000: 24).