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Making Policy in the Shadow of the Future

Making Policy in the Shadow of the Future

Gregory F. Treverton
Copyright Date: 2010
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 54
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  • Book Info
    Making Policy in the Shadow of the Future
    Book Description:

    The National Intelligence Council's 2008 report "Global Trends 2025: A Transformed World" projects what the world will look like in 2025 based on recent trends. This paper asks: How should U.S. policy adapt now to account for these trends and the future that will result from them? The author explores such issues as climate change, defense, international relations, and the structure of the federal government.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-5074-8
    Subjects: Political Science, Physics

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Preface
    (pp. iii-iv)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  4. Figure and Tables
    (pp. vii-viii)
  5. Summary
    (pp. ix-xiv)
  6. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xv-xvi)
  7. SECTION 1 Introduction
    (pp. 1-2)

    As the old saw has it, “If you don’t know where you’re going, any path will take you there.” James Dewar, a wise RAND long-term planner, adapted this saying into an insightful maxim for policy planning: “If long-term planning doesn’t affect what you do today, it’s only entertainment.” In that spirit, this paper takes the futures explored in the National Intelligence Council’s (NIC’s) 2008 reportGlobal Trends 2025: A Transformed Worldas a baseline, then explores the implications of its major trends for U.S. policy, both longer-term and more immediate. As an intelligence organization, the NIC could only go as...

  8. SECTION 2 Shaping U.S. Policy for 2025
    (pp. 3-16)

    The NIC identified broad trends toward 2025, which it labeled “relative certainties,” and these are laid out in Table 2.1, which is adapted from the NIC report. As trends, they are relatively familiar; they have been with us for some time. It cannot be specified when the trends will eventuate into a world that is different from the one we have known. Is it already here? Or will it take another 15 years? In any case, the Dewar maxim’s prescription for planning is a fact of life: Planned for or not, the future and expectations about it cast a shadow...

  9. SECTION 3 Where Might Longer-Term Thinking Change Short-Run Policy?
    (pp. 17-38)

    Based on the longer-term trends toward 2025 and the broad lines of long-term American policy they suggest, this section turns to the agenda for the next five years. What, in the Dewar maxim, should the United States donowto maximize longer-term opportunities and avoid longer-term dangers? This discussion of the current agenda concentrates on issues where attention to the longer term would call for policiesnowthat would bedifferentfrom those pursued absent that longer-term perspective. Some policies in the U.S. interest looking to 2025 would be different from policies that are convenient today.

    In many cases, the...

  10. Back Matter
    (pp. 39-39)