Demographic Challenges and Risks for Russian Higher Education
This article analyzes some important aspects of the world socioeconomic and political development in the near future. The future always stems from the present. The fi rst part of the article analyzes the global causes of the contemporary crisis and the possibilities to eliminate the most acute problems that have generated this crisis. The authors believe that in some respects the global fi nancial system, notwithstanding all its negative points, still performs certain important positive functions including the ‘insurance’ of social guaranties on a global scale. New fi nancial technologies decrease the risks in a rather eff ective way, they expand possibilities to attract and accumulate enormous capitals, actors, and markets. The modern fi nancial sector also contributes to the insurance for social funds on a global scale. The participation of pension and insurance funds in fi nancial operations leads to the globalization of social sphere. The countries poor in capital, but with large cohorts of young population, are involved more and more in a very important (though not quite apparent) process of supporting the elderly portion of population in the West through the vigorous unifi cation of the world’s fi nancial fl ows, their standardization, and by increasing global mobility and anonymity. The second part of the article considers some global scenarios of the World System’s future and describes several characteristics and forecasts of the forthcoming ‘Epoch of New Coalitions’. Among the problems analyzed in this paper are the following: What are the implications of the economic weakening of the USA as the World System center? Will the future World System have a leader? Will it experience a global governance defi cit? Will the world fragmentation increase?