A new hierarchy among the world's powers, changes to the operation of the international system, dispersal of power as a result of an increasing number of non - state organizations, challenges to the idea of nation - states, civil wars raging across frontiers, etc. These are some of the characteristics of the world as it is today. The challenges confronting us over the next three decades are substantial, particularly as no model seems to be emerging clearly at the moment and the rise of information technologies has produced a world that is wholly connected and informed, showing up inequalities that are potential sources of conflict and enabling those excluded from the system to join together. In this context, are there trends at work that can afford us some insight into how conflict situations might evolve in the decades to come? The answer comes in the affirmative. Jean - Pierre Maulny demonstrates this point here, basing his argument on current fault lines and the way the geopolitical scene is developing, on how actors are operating at the world level, what their concerns are, and the issues that are likely to lead to conflict. Lastly, he looks at what types of conflict might developin the medium - to long term, given recent developments and observable global dynamics.