GTFS: Global Trends and Future Scenarios Index

Future of US Power: Is China going to Eclipse the United States? Two Possible Scenarios to 2040



This working paper discusses a few possible ways how U.S. power may evolve from 2010 to 2040. It begins with a description of this work’s objectives, and continues with the introduction of the mixed scenario method that will be used in this work. It summarizes the epochs of the U.S. power, such as establishing the nation, achieving the world hegemony, attempts to build an Empire, struggling with rising multipolarity and contemporary attempts to maintain the (declining) hegemony. It then attempts to draw analogies from the knowledge of evolution of historical empires to the contemporary world’s political economy. Next, it discusses the historical and emerging power trajectories of China and its long-term abilities to challenge the United States and achieve the world hegemony. Finally, it provides two mixed-method scenarios, where the United States and China have totally different roles and powers.

Key words: United States, China, mixed scenario method, exploratory forecasting, power trajectories, clash, economic recession, multipolarity, hegemony, rise and fall of an Empire, use of analogies from history to project futures.