On April 14, T.R. Reid, the Nitze Senior Fellow for 2008-2009, returned to the College to give his third and final lecture, entitled “The Global Superpowers of 2050 (The U.S. won’t be No. 1. Neither will China.).”
He said that despite the economic downturn in America, there was a chance that it would still be the leading power in 2050. Reid also acknowledged that many people believe China is a strong contender for global superpower considering that it currently has the second largest economy. However, Reid disagreed saying that China is too disorganized, and lacks the equality that he feels is only attainable under democracy. According to Reid, China is fighting its way to the top, but it will never get there.
Reid believes that the real contender for global superpower is the European Union (EU). Reid said that they stand a good chance of being the next global superpower because they are a model of unity despite being a group of culturally and linguistically diverse nations. The EU also has a strong, unified economy under the Euro, and nations who have not yet adopted the Euro will soon.
Reid also said that there is a strong possibility that by 2050 we will be living in an apolar world, inwhich there will not be one individual superpower. Reid believes the next superpower will likely be a multinational union. Whether this power will be the EU or another possible conglomerate like “Chindia” is unclear. Or perhaps history will repeat itself, and a small nation will surprise the world by rising unchallenged to the top spot.