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Regular version of the site

Article

Globalization Shuffles Cards of the World Pack: In Which Direction is the Global Economic-Political Balance Shifting?

World Futures. 2014. Vol. 70. No. 8. P. 515-545.
The article offers forecasts of the geopolitical and geo-economic development of the world in the forthcoming decades. One of the main accusations directed toward globalization is that it deepens the gap between the developed and developing countries dooming them to eternal backwardness. The article demonstrates that the actual situation is very different. It is shown that this is due to the globalization that the developing countries are generally growing much faster than the developed states, the World System core starts weakening and its periphery begins to strengthen. At the same time there is a continuing divergence between the main bulk of developing countries and the group of the poorest developing states. The article also explains why the globalization was bound to lead to the explosive rise of many developing countries and the relative weakening of the developed economies. In the forthcoming decades this trend is likely to continue (although, of course, not without certain interruptions). It is also demonstrated that this convergence constitutes a necessary condition for the next technological breakthrough. This has important implications for the hegemony debates. A rather popular theory of hegemony cycles implies that the eclipse of the global hegemony of the United States should be followed by the emergence of a new global hegemon. This generates the dichotomy of the two main current points of view—either the United States will continue the global leadership in the forthcoming decades, or it will be replaced by China in this capacity. We do not find the study of the future within this dichotomy fruitful. We believe that in a direct connection with the development of globalization processes the hegemony cycle pattern is likely to come to its end, which will lead to the World System reconfiguration and the emergence of its new structure that will allow the World System to continue its further development without a hegemon.