In The Evolution of Civilizations, master historian Carroll Quigley argues that a civilization’s growth and decline is driven by the development of its instrument of expansion. To oversimplify, the instrument of expansion is the social system that accumulates wealth and invests it into further production. When this system is functioning well, the civilization grows and flourishes, not just economically but also demographically, geographically, and scientifically. When the instrument of expansion inevitably ossifies and comes to serve entrenched interests rather than serving its ostensible function, growth slows and conflict intensifies, until either the instrument of expansion is supplanted by a different one and the cycle repeats, or else the civilization decays and is eventually destroyed. There have been somewhere around a dozen civilizations where we have enough surviving evidence to determine the instrument of expansion.
Interesting article, the tragic truth of the matter is that the state has decayed beyond all reason in all countries save one or two. Likely the 21st century will see a number of coups, revolutions and civil strife so that some civilisations will fall, and others will attempt to save themselves from modernity.
Those still in good health such as Vietnam will look to expand, others in decay such as Canada will collapse, and others still such as France will likely face civil strife and revolution until she is restored to good health as always seems to happen with France.
Some such as Japan will withdraw ever so slightly from the world until her demographics are fixed, others will collapse into a shadow of their previous selves still formidable but not as powerful (as might happen with Chine), and still others will probably survive after uniting with 'another nation' as in the case of the two Koreas. In my view, the dominant power of Asia will turn out to be Vietnam, Europe will see either France or Hungary dominate for a time (or a coalition between the two) and in Africa Kenya will sweep its way to power along with a Franco-Africain coalition.
In the Americas if America gets her act together, she'll probably dominate though go back to her reclusive ways of the 19th century. If not, she'll balkanise and we'll see what happens next.
But there'll be sunny days for some, and not so sunny days for others. Let us hope some measure of good health will return to some civilisations.