VII. B. Challenges for the world at the beginning of the 21st century

The consumer society in question

Faillite de Lehman Brothers
Bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers in 2008

Evolution of the standard of living:
—diffusion of technological innovations, household products (refrigerator, washing machines), by means of locomotion (automobiles)
—more and more accessible food, an increase of obesity cases (21% of the world population is obese, against 16% of undernourished)
—more and more accessible vacations
—strong inequalities, within and between countries

Transformations in society:
—development of education, massive arrival in universities which must adapt
—growing affirmation of the individual
—cult of the body, a transformation of sexuality which is no longer perceived in the same way
—women aspire to play a greater role in society, favored by the comfort of home (between 35% and 50% of women over 15 years old are employed, depending on the country)
—development of communication means (75% of the world population has a cell phone, 30% of the internet)
—standardization of lifestyles conveyed by a dominant culture

Economic crises:
—global financial crisis since 2007 (liquidity and solvency crisis, credit shortage)
—subprime crisis, banking crisis of 2008 (Lehman Brothers Bankruptcy on September 15, 2008), debt crisis in European countries in particular

→ New concerns: ecology, religion, and wars

Ecological defense:
—ecological demonstrations, against unbridled growth (in 1972 slogan “stop growth!” of the Club of Rome)
—debate on global warming
—Kyoto protocol (175 countries) which foresaw a reduction of 5% of greenhouse gases before 2012
– Grenelle de l’environnement in Paris in 2007
—Copenhagen summit in 2009 which did not lead to any real decisions

Uprisings, terrorism and wars: Return of the religious:
—vitality with Catholicism with Pope John Paul II
—new charismatic movements (in France, in the United States, in Canada) or fundamentalist movements (around Mgr Lefebvre)
—the interpretation to the letter of religious writings (fundamentalism) leads to traumas of which the most significant occurs on September 11, 2001 (Ben Laden Was Killed in 2011)
—development of extremist Islam (in Saudi Arabia, Iran, in the Gulf Emirates, in Algeria, in Tunisia, in Egypt, in Libya, in Mali) with sometimes application of the sharia
—emergence of numerous sects

– 3,000 deaths during the attacks against the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001
—attacks in Madrid in 2004, in London in 2005
—Israeli-Palestinian conflict still virulent: Operation Cast Lead in 2009, tensions between Israel and Palestinians in 2011, Operation Pillar of Defense in 2012
—Arab Spring from December 2010 (Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Syria, Bahrain, Algeria, Jordan, Morocco, Iraq, Palestine)

News of the challenges

—terrorism in Europe, particularly in France, since the attack on Charlie Hebdo
—late 2019 to2021, the consequences of the so-called COVID-19 pandemic

→ France’s defense policy

2 thoughts on “VII. B. Challenges for the world at the beginning of the 21st century

  1. Above all, I do not see any chapter concerning France, the city in France and its assets in geography…

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