Maps of the future

We’re now in space year 2010. The world, naturally, is a very different place in terms of the lines on the map than it was a century ago - here’s what the world looked like in 1910.

So, I ask the capacious collective brainpower of assembled Doperdom, what are your predictions for the century ahead, or beyond? What will the world map look like when we’re all flying around in jetpacks and working at Spacely Sprockets?

Here’s my piss-poor, stultifyingly ill-informed attempt at guessing the makeup of our world circa 2110 (here’s the map I used as a base).

I put this in GD as it’s highly contentious. Although silly suggestions (like Futurama’s best guess at the western United States) are welcome too.

I disagree that the North African countries will join the E.U. Too Muslim, too big a Francophone bloc.

I also don’t see a free Tibet in 100 years time, unless there’s a breakup of China as a whole.

Not sure about the UN mandates, also I anticipate some other changes in the map of Africa around Central/West Africa - re-arrangements of national borders, that sort of thing. I don’t see the DRC surviving intact for 100 years, for instance.

I agree with one Korea, though.

I thought so too, but it’s not all Francophone; Morocco has a number of Spanish enclaves. Plus it applied for EU membership some years ago. France has connections with Algeria, France, Spain and Italy with Tunisia. So in the distant future I thought it wasn’t too infeasible.

Wishful thinking, perhaps.

Probably around the Balkans, also. But I don’t know enough to even speculate. It felt a little odd leaving South America completely intact, too.

In 100 years time my hope is that NK will have long run out of steam. There’s only so long the scars of the Korean war can endure. With luck, anyway.

Siberia will get absorbed into China as the Russians depopulate & the Chinese thirst for natural resources grow

Korea will be unified

Turkey will be part of the EU

New Zealand & the micronesias will become part of Australia

Canada & The US will form a quasi-union

Africa will be completely unrecognizable

If you’re going to erase Israel, you should also replace the Arabian Ummah with “The Great Middle-Eastern Nuclear Wasteland”. I’m just saying.

Israel’s still there…the little dab of EU blue in amongst the orange Arabian superstate. I was wondering whether Pakistan and India should have a few nuclear symbols over them.

Oh, and I mixed up east and west in Africa. :smack:

I did say it wasn’t much cop. Come on, teeming millions, we need your predictions for the rest of the 21st century and beyond! Well, maybe not need, but it should be interesting.

Did the Aleutian Islands secede or is that just discoloration?

For my part I think we’ll see a lot of microstates that arose from ethnic minorities suing for recognition in international courts.

I do not think the Nation-State as we see it today will even exist.

The primary mode of social organization will be the super-economic state which will fall out around continents except in Asia and Africa.

So you’ll basically have a few ‘countries’ so to speak.

South America (whatever they settle on)
Europe (may include Russia)
Sinosphere (Taiwan, Tibet, Singapore, Vietname, Cambodia, Thailand, Siberia etc…)
The Parliamentary Emirates of North Africa (Or whatever)
Sub Saharan Africa
Central Asia (Af-Pak, all the stans)
Some Shi’ite superbloc
If Russia is not part of Europe a Russian bloc that may include Azerbaijan and Georgia if Georgia hasn’t joined the EU

It can be tailored from there. There might be some cohesion amongst Muslim states even though individually Sunnis and Shi’ites may still be fighting each other.

Nation-States as we understand them today will be more similar to how American states exist today. Semi-autonomous units that have been successively downgraded in potency over time in relation to the larger economic agglomerations.

Oh yeah, and for Alessan.

To E.U. add Switzerland, Russia (including Siberia), Georgia, Armenia, and probably Israel.

The Maghreb is not francophone, MrDibble, and besides, being francophone is not an obstacle to entering the E.U. Religion would be one.

Central American countries probably will form an union.

Africa unrecognizable, I agree.

Lybia, Egypt, Arabia ? Too much bickering between themselves. Cf. the Egypt-Syria attempt.

Oman is not part of the Arabian Empire?

Persia could extend into Afghanistan and Tadjikistan.

Quebec possibly part of the EU.

Agreed that Siberia becomes part of China.

Israel will not be part of the EU in 100 years.

Desert Nomad Of course it is part of the Arabian Empire. Persia might extend into Afghanistan and Tajikistan A LITTLE but only into the areas of Shi’ite control.

In the linked map, Oman is blank.

Ahh. Well I also disagree with his UN Darfur mandate bit. No one is going to do anything about Darfur, the genocide will be completed and things will settle down because the minority faction will all be dead.

I was in Sudan three weeks ago and can certainly see a North-South split coming (and probably a peaceful one at that). As to the west of Sudan - who knows - in 100 years the map of Africa will be totally different I think… most likely fewer countries.

The OP has my very own Vancouver Island seceding Canada as well, and linking up with the Aleutians. Some explaining is definitely required here.

What an intriguing, cool thread, and with a graphic presentation, no less. I applaud the OP.

There’s really no way to know for sure how things will play out in a century, but a unified Korea and an expanded EU seem like very good bets.

Quebec separation from Canada is unlikely but if it does happen would likely lead to further fracturing of Canada and possible alliance with the EU or USA.

An Arabian alliance is a neat idea.

The one bit I’ll strongly disagree with is an expansion of Iran into Arab lands. That’s not very likely; Arabs and Persians are as different as Russians and Germans, and looking forward I can’t think of any particular reason why we’d expect Iran to conquer southern Iraq by force. If nothing else, the rest of the Arab world would fight to prevent it.

There will be no Quebec independence, not now, not ever.

The world is moving toward less autonomy for provinces, not more autonomy for provinces. NAFTA overall, or however it is named in 100 years will include Quebec. It makes no sense for it to be part of the European Union across the Atlantic.

I think the expansion of Persia recognizes the reality of Shi’ite populations as opposed to pre-supposing an expansion into Arab lands. I think there will be a Shi’te bloc which will likely include Iraq. I don’t think it would be so much a matter of conquering Iraq as much as it would be a matter of building treaties over time to recognize the shared ethnic/cultural/geographical landscape.

Of course there will be a great deal of migration so all polities will have a greater plurality than they do today.

Any speculation about whether Belgium remains as one country, or if Flanders and Wallonia go their separate ways, or what? I’m leaning toward them splitting within the next 100 years, but really don’t know enough to speculate knowledgeably.

And Greenland rejoining the EU? (They opted out of what was then the EEC in 1985…) IMHO, they’re more likely to join Canada.

The OP’s offering is pretty plausible, although I’d dispute the independent Tibet and Quebec and the separate government of Taiwan. More generally I don’t see huge boundary changes among developed nations. As the economy becomes more service oriented, territory becomes less important and nations will compete over it less. (China won’t take over Siberia, it’ll just buy up its resources.) In general governments will become more centralized and powerful until they are too large to function well - it’s an even bet whether the US or EU will reach the breaking point first.

A more interesting question is who are the major players going to be? My predictions (and bear in mind this is essentially the same as asking “who from high school is still going to be cool 20 years from now”):

United States: contrary to partisans on both sides, there will be no dramatic slide to socialism or theocracy. Government will continue on its slow expansion trajectory, and the economy will resemble the EU of today, fairly wealthy (much wealthier than today, of course), but undynamic, with high tax rates and more regulation. It will however still be the cultural center of the world and a major diplomatic player.

China will have had its run and become the largest economy. However it will still be fairly inwards-looking, concentrated on domestic priorities, and thus will not be the hegemon that many fear. As it becomes richer throughout the century it will gradually become more free to dissent and responsive to citizens’ concerns, as South Korea and Taiwan did, though with less freewheeling democracy than Western nations. Speaking of Taiwan, it will likely be reunified with the mainland, which will be a less contentious process as the two models of government become more similar.

South and southeast Asia will experience rapid growth midcentury, due to basically the same factors that propelled East Asia: a cheap and highly educated workforce. India and ASEAN will be important.

The Middle East: I don’t feel confident making century-long predictions here, but I don’t think the situation will improve for the next several decades. The UN will not have the will to prevent Iran from obtaining nukes. Whether they are actually used or simply used as a means to get more diplomatic clout I can’t say. Israel will continue to exist and flourish as long as nukes don’t enter the equation - they have the will to defend themselves and the protestations of the EU will have less and less influence.

Africa: I see at least one or two success stories happening here, but they will be isolated and not general. There will be big differences between rich and poor, and likely conflicts between rich and poor nations (for plunder, or for expelling the inevitable wave of immigrants).

The EU: will expand and largely absorb old nationalities at least to the point of the US at its founding. Immigration will continue, and the wealthy will downplay its attendant problems. (Exception: Scandinavia will at least attempt to restrict immigration as Denmark has started to do.) Eventually anti-immigration groups emerge, but will be weak, comprised of the lower class that can’t afford to insulate itself from street crime etc. These will fail. In the optimistic scenario Muslims will begin to act like Westerners once they become more wealthy, and the sense of a separate identity will cease. Either way, Europe will continue on its trajectory of being relatively wealthy but undynamic (maybe sliding down to “middle-income” by century’s end), notable largely for its preservation of traditional high culture.

South America: Unremarkable but steady growth, several countries will become first-world nations by the end of the century.

Russia: the wildcard. It will continue to be a rival of the EU for influence over the “near abroad,” with occasional military actions like its incursion into Georgia. However it’s in economic and demographic decline, and this posturing will become more precarious as time goes on. Whether this scenario ends with a bang or a whimper is one of the most important questions for the next century.

One cultural prediction: as Christianity continues to decline in the Western world, various quasi-religious beliefs (“spirituality”) have sprung up in its place. Evidently religion is a primal need for many people. Eventually these weak strands of quasi-religion will accrete to form a new syncretic religion, which will become a major force among the middle and upper classes and cultural elite. This religion is likely to be easygoing and undogmatic, making few moral claims, but will have a more coherent theology than the current “spiritual but not religious” crowd, likely informed by Gaianism and animism. Christianity will become a religion of the lower classes in the West, though it may gain adherents elsewhere, especially in Asia.