Urban Education Dystopia, 2050: A Response from Europe
This is a response to the dystopic scenario proposed from the position of the Pacific Rim by Allan Luke, from the editors of the European section of the Handbook. While we recognize the picture that Luke paints, and the range of debates about the future among, for example, urban planners, social demographers, sociologists, environmentalists, and cultural theorists, we turn to political scientists rather than fiction writers, to create two potential scenarios for Europe for the year 2050. We recognize that Western Europe like the rest of the world, is affected by global changes such as environmental disaster (flooding as well as heat waves), economic upheaval (increased influence of multinationals, widening gaps between the rich and the poor) cultural homogenization (globalization of popular culture as well as policy) geographic modifications (enlargement of European Union) and demographic change (flow of immigrants from South to North and from rural to urban). However, in comparison with the rest of the world, Western or “old” Europe has been generally stable (since the end of World War II at least) accompanied by increasing prosperity and sustained efforts at developing structures of cooperation rather than conflict. This is embodied in the establishment and growth of the European Union (EU), an intergovernmental and supranational union of 25 democratic member states from the European continent, which was established under that name in 1992 by the Treaty on European Union (the Maastricht Treaty). However, many aspects of the Union developed from 1951 onwards, through a series of predecessor formal and informal relationships.
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