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Energy, Economic Growth, and Geopolitical Futures: Eight Long-Range Scenarios

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Pardee Center for International Futures

Book

Evan Hillebrand & Stacy Closson

September 01, 2015

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Hillebrand, Evan, and Stacy Closson. 2015. Energy, Economic Growth, and Geopolitical Futures: Eight Long-Range Scenarios. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Among the questions tackled by Evan Hillebrand and Stacy Closson in this book are the following: Will there be more wars or peace? What country or countries will dominate, and which ones will fade in geopolitical significance? Will the unprecedented sixty year surge in world economic growth continue or come to an end? And will shortages of energy or other resources constrain the global future? This book offers a new approach to creating outlooks that consider the interconnectedness of three key drivers—economic growth, energy abundance, and geopolitics. Using the quantitative assist of the International Futures Model results in eight quite different scenarios to 2050. In each, a change in any one driver affects the outcome of the other two, and combinations of the three drivers interact to create varying outcomes. The book offers scholars the chance to create their own futures using the model. It offers policy makers probabilities of which combination of variables is more likely to result in a favorable outcome. In the end, strong economic growth in both China and the United States leads to the most harmonious global future. However, policy mistakes or exogenous shocks that leads to sharply lower growth in either point the globe in a less benign direction. Even with good economic growth, however, divergent trends in energy security in the United States and China could make the world more unsafe.

Keywords: International Relations
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