Pax Americana (1946-today) followed Pax Brittanica (1815-1914). Those were where the world was often more at peace with America and Britain leading the world. Note- the theory is the world was more at peace but not completely at peace. What would the Soviet Union and Stalin had done if the United States had not been there ?
I think that major power warfare will be prevented by Pax Nuclear Weapons for the next 15-20 years. In spite of the more aggressive actions taken by Putin. Russia will not reconstitute the Soviet Union.
Major countries are and will continue to primarily have economic competition. If the banks were too big to fail in 2007, then the US and China would not mess with each other because they would wreck the banks. The Pax of Mutually Assured Financial Destruction.
A G zero world is a world with no superpower and where merely great powers rarely police the world. Ian Bremmer of the Eurasian Group makes a case for a G zero world in articles and video talks.
In a World without an engaged superpower for policing it is still a mostly peaceful world. The major powers cannot be bothered to spend the money or effort to police most situations and they will not go to even more trouble to fight each other [Pax not worth the hassle]. The smaller trouble maker countries may fight more and will get away with it so long as there is not oil or some significant interest involved. [like Syria]
China will not step up to the US role until China’s per capita income is a lot more.
China’s military is not professional. There are reports that during a 15 day military exercise that troops had to get a movie night, karaoke and hookers on day 9 because the troops were homesick. China is focused on using the military for internal political control.
The last time China fought was a border war with Vietnam in 1979, where China did badly.
The US is taking on a less active role.
International Law and institutions based upon the agreement of who was a world power in the 1880s and early 1900s will continue for a while.
But China and Russia will ignore it when they feel they can get away with it and it is to there benefit.
The main things that I see over the next 20-30 years
* does China continue to grow and reach fully developed per capita income ? I think the answer is yes
* What happens with the EU, USA, India economically ? Mainly 2-3% growth for US/EU. India about 4-7%.
* India has not gotten a handle on public health and feeding all of its people. About 45% of India’s people are stunted. (not enough food so their IQ is about 80)
India and Africa need be able to blunt extreme poverty (less than $1.25 per day) to prevent 20-45% of new children from suffering from poor health and stunting. This should be mostly achieved in 10-15 years.
2016-2022 USA, China, EU each about equal in total economy
2023-2029 China could get to about double or triple the US economy. I think China’s currency will strengthen a lot. So the double is based a lot upon exchange rate changes.
2020s do big technological breakthroughs start changing things ?
Reusable rockets, super capable cubesats, Spiderfab (3D printing and robotics to make 1 kilometer or larger solar sails and solar arrays and telescopes)
Advanced synthetic biology and full blown molecular nanotechnology
Energy breakthrough – nuclear fusion, deep burn fission (molten salt reactors) that are factory mass producable
Beyond 2030, the technology landscape should change enough that power relationships that exist now may no longer hold.
China’s one child policy being lifted just as embryo selection for intelligence for invitro fertilized (IVF) babies becomes possible and we are on the cusp of genetic engineering. Older women in China were banned from having babies but now will be able to. Many will not be able to conceive naturally and will use IVF. I see IVf going from 400,000 per year worldwide to 2-8 million per year over the next 10 years. IVF babies are more easily embryo selected and accessible for genetic modification. This would provide an economic boost to China in 20-30 years and the beginnings of a significant societal shift.