Chapter 11. Three Snapshots of the Future

These three scenarios—New American Century, Patchwork Powers, and Emergence—cannot, of course, encompass the entire range of possibilities regarding the future world order. But they are plausible and important possibilities, and worth considering in turn. What might each of these worlds look like? Here are three snapshots that summarize each (accompanied by short vignettes that provide a glimpse of one person's life in that world), beginning with the scenario that some might consider the U.S.'s “official future.”

New American Century

This is a future in which the United States achieves unparalleled leadership in world affairs, reasserting and strengthening its influence, and essentially establishing ...

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