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"What is past is prologue," Shakespeare comments in The Tempest. That is as true for the real world of today and tomorrow as it was for the Bard's literary world of yesterday. One hopes that no future historian will write a history of the 21st century under the title The Tempest. Titles such as As You Like It or All's Well That Ends Well are moreappealing possibilities for histories yet to be. Whatever the future will bring, we are in a position similar to that of Banquo in Macbeth. He sought to know the future, and we can sympathize with him when he pleads with the three witches to "look into the seeds of time, /And say which grain will grow and which will not." Unfortunately for Banquo, the witches gave him a veiled prophecy he neitherunderstood nor was able to escape. We are luckier, though. As Shakespeare tells us in Julius Caesar, "It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves." The sections that follow are meant to help you determine your script for the destiny of the coming decades by examining the factors and trends that will benefit or beset the world during your lifetime and into the future. To facilitatethe discussion, these topics are divided into four areas: political structure, security, international economics, and quality of life.

The Structure of Power in the 21st Century
There are a number of important changes occurring in the shape of the international system. A new polar structure is emerging, the Western orientation of the system is weakening, and the authority of the state isbeing challenged from without and from within. The Polar Structure Clearly the bipolar system is gone. What is not certain is how to characterize the current, still evolving system. Although not all scholars would agree, the view here is that what exists in the first decade of the 21st century is best described as a limited unipolar system that is struggling to become a multipolar system.

AUnipolar Moment Just before the Soviet Union's final collapse, analyst Charles Krauthammer wrote an article entitled "The Unipolar Moment." In it he argued that the widespread assumption that "the old bipolar world would beget a multipolar world with power dispersed" among several countries was wrong. "The immediate post-Cold War world is not multipolar," he observed. "It is unipolar. The center of worldpower is the unchallenged superpower, the United States." Many other analysts scoffed at Krauthammer's view and some still do, but he had a point. Since then, U.S. global economic dominance has grown further, especially as Japan and Europe have struggled. Militarily, U.S. arms with some allied support twice defeated Iraq (1991, 2003) and overwhelmed Yugoslavia (1999) in wars that were wildlyone-sided, mostly because of the vast and growing lead of U.S. military technology. Others concur with Krauthammer's view that a unipolar system exists. For one, scholar Joseph Nye has written of the United States that "not since Rome has one nation loomed so large above the others." Nye observes that the U.S. status as the hegemonic power is not just based on military dominance. Instead, he quotesthe observation of France's foreign minister that "U.S. supremacy today extends to the economy, currency, military areas, lifestyle, language, and the products of mass culture that inundate the world, forming thought and fascinating even the enemies of the United States." The Multipolar Urge In his famous poem, "Mending Wall," Robert Frost wrote about the seemingly inexorable forces of nature thatrepeatedly topple stone walls. Wisely he observed:
Something there is that doesn't love a wall, That wants it down.


Similarly, there is something in the balance-of-power nature of the international system that does not like unipolarity. U.S. dominance rankles many countries, whether they were allies, enemies, or neutrals in the cold war era (Malone & Khong, 2003). As evidence, consider...
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