1.1 Government

The UN has not emerged as a world government and the corporations have not taken over; the most powerful organisations in the world remain the nation states.
This section and the corresponding portions of the future history were conceived in the most collaborative fashion. A great deal of discussion was generated on the groups email list regarding these topics and careful consultation with the group members undertaken before the final draft. This procedure has produced a richer world than any one of use could of created alone.
Most nations would be familiar to a 20th century reader but there are some new developments:
• The EU has become a true unified nation, the USE, reaching from the British Isles to the Balkans.
• In central America UCAS is a similar super-state. Malaysia and Indonesia have unified into the Malay Republic.
• New Zealand is unified into the Australian Federation as two states (North and South Islands, Stewart Island is part of the Southern state) forming the nation of Australasia.
• The USA has lost states during a difficult century for the former super-power.
• Tibet finally gained independence in 2059.
• Israel has lost its nation-state status. The regions is claimed by the new Palestinian Confederation (former Jordan and Palestine).
• Iraq has broken up, forming the new nation of Kurdistan, which also claims a portion of eastern Turkey. A thin region of eastern Iraq is claimed by Iran and the remaining central region remains Iraq.
• The artificial country of Afghanistan breaks up, with the southern and eastern sections eventually joining Pakistan, sections of the north joining Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, and the remaining regions of Afghanistan (mainly an east Persian people) eventually federating with Iran.
• Canadian province of Nunavut has left and joined Greenland.
• In Africa national borders are slowly being redrawn to align with pre-colonial cultures.
International relations have been transformed this century. The USA, Japan, Australasia, and a liberalised China form the Pacific Alliance. A Middle-East Confederation of modernised states has brought peace and increased influence to that once troubled region. The UN imposes many restrictions on nations in the arenas of human rights, trade, and war crimes. The UN has control of the World Bank, GATT/WTO and WIPO, and ICAAN. There are UN space and naval forces but these are pitifully small, designed to transport troops and provide logistics. Of note though is the ICC Commandoes, an elite force sent to bring major war criminals to justice. The UN has also absorbed Interpol, as well as facilitating cooperation between national police forces these police have jurisdiction in international waters, Antarctica, and space. Antarctica is controlled by UNESCO.

Africa, hope and inequality
Infectious cures for malaria and trypanosomes and similar medical advances result in the continent developing a population boom and thus a huge poor workforce. Africa undergoes an economic transformation reminiscent of China in the 1990’s. Most Africans remain poor, more and more work long hours in hazardous polluting factories for a pittance but an elite few become amazingly rich off the labours of the others.

Europe, old adversaries united
The United States of Europe (USE) is technically a close Federation of states much as the USA is. The old nations of Europe still have great control over national matters. The police, military, and criminal justice system are however unified across Europe as is the currency. Member states now include Turkey, Morocco, Iceland, Switzerland and Norway. Within the USE states tend to vote in blocks, for example the Celtic alliance of Ireland, Wales, Scotland, and Brittany. Non-humans can hold USE citizenship but with the limitation that they are barred from immigration into some more conservative member states.

Russia, Shadows of Glory
Since the fall of the Soviet Union, the massive land based empire of the 20th century, Russia has had a troubled history. In the political and economic chaos that followed the fall of Soviet communism a number of provinces struggled for independence and many won free. Those that did not required sporadic military action to quell unrest. The most notable of these was the Ukraine stand-off of 2028. With ex-soviet provinces being absorbed into Europe or falling into lawlessness, Russia has become increasingly isolated. Russia is falling apart and has no powerful allies to give her a hand up.
Along with the arctic war internal conflicts have led to a large amount of aging military hardware on Russian streets, particularly in frontier regions. Often these weapons are in the hands of would be rebels or criminals. The Russian police forces are ill-equipped to deal with the threat of criminals armed with (antique) military hardware. Sending in the army is rarely an option because of troubled international relations.
The long hard years of communism followed by the power vacuum of the early 21st century enabled organised crime to get an iron grip in Russia and many former soviet states that now have independence. While elsewhere in the world organised crime is loosing the fight against government surveillance in Russia it flourishes and corrupts. Here the world-wide trend of ever decreasing crime levels has been bucked.
For rebel time travellers the loose control of the Russian government and susceptibility of police and officials to corruption could help hide desperate rebels. Organised crime and weapon availability will enable those willing to deal with the dark side to gain weapons that simply cannot be had elsewhere in the tightly controlled nations of the world. Finally, for those who want their future world to be less pleasant the Russian underground provides a back-drop for grim ‘cyberpunk’ style adventures, quite unlike the safe, civilised, vision of the future that blankets most of the world. It should be easy to re-badge many old scenarios for cyberpunk genre games and move them into Russia, Kazakstan and other ex-soviet nations

Middle East, troubled peace
In the 2030’s the face of the Middle East changed. Much of the dismantling of the Israeli state was orchestrated by Rabbi David Ben Levi, a sort of Mandela figure, who’s efforts form the Palestinian Confederation between Israel, Palestine and Jordan through negotiation. The rabbi was an ultra-orthodox Jew, one of those that is so orthodox that they actually disagree with political Zionism in favour of a spiritual version thereof.
Other key influences in the Middle East include the Iranian liberal tradition ‘Mossedeq’, form this and other sources sprung a cultural revolution. Only Saudi Arabia remains conservative. This transformation is a cause of great upheaval during this decade there were radical zealots who will denounce the old school as traitors to the religion just as much as there was moderates reaching out to liberal democracy. Iran emerges from this period a shining liberalised light and uses this political momentum to attract new territory. Similarly, this upheaval saw the formation of the Kurdish nation and loss of territory for Iraq.

UCAS, a new American Union
The United Central American States includes the states of Guatemala, Honduras, Belize, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Costa Rica, West Indies, and Panama. The new super-state takes a ‘Costa Rican’ approach to military issues.

USA, the lost dream
Texas, Southern California and the southern half of Arizona and New Mexico have seceded. The eleven year Mexican War in the 2030’s drained the economy and will of the Union and tied up the military might of the nation, the only real advantage the USA still held over the emerging powerhouses of Europe, India, and China.
After an extended period of hyper-libertarianism and hyper-capitalism then two years of infighting in government, a highly conservative and pro-regulatory government was voted in 2044. Voters and the culture at large reacted to the failures of the previous libertarian government. Since that time there has been a constant political struggle as the government tries to rein in the huge corporations spawned in the first four decades of the century without causing disastrous economic upheaval.
While Russia and ex-soviet states are the place for ‘street-level’ cyberpunk style games the USA is the place to play out the other cyberpunk idea of corporate power and corruption.