Global Strategic Trends (fourth edition)

The fourth edition of Global Strategic Trends seeks to explore the relevance of global trends to defence and security out to 2040.

This publication was withdrawn on

This publication has been superseded by Global Strategic Trends (fifth edition).



The 5th edition of Global Strategic Trends, which looks out to 2045, was published on 30 June 2014.

Produced by the Development, Concepts and Doctrine Centre, Global Strategic Trends (GST) is an examination of the strategic context that faces defence and the challenges and opportunities it provides for the Ministry of Defence (MOD).

It describes how the period out to 2040 will be a time of continuing transition, characterised by uncertainty, challenge and opportunity. The document gives a detailed consideration of how climate change, global inequality, population growth, resource scarcity and the shifting balance of global power will transform the strategic context and create persistent, complex, global challenges.

Global Strategic Trends seeks to build on previous editions, informed by the lessons we have learned from contemporary events, and has a greater focus on global defence and security issues. It does not predict the future and the opportunities exist for many of the challenges outlined in the document to be overcome, largely through global collective action. However, due to the nature of these challenges, states may choose to protect their own interests first and independent responses may increase instability and tension.

Global Strategic Trends has informed the defence green paper although the findings contained in the document are those of the DCDC and do not necessarily represent an official position of Her Majesty’s government or the UK MOD. The research and evidence that underpins the main findings has been undertaken with consultation with our key allies, partners and academia.

DCDC would welcome feedback, either using the attached feedback form or through correspondence to the address given in the main publication.

Published 12 January 2010
Last updated 17 October 2013 + show all updates
  1. Updated the detail to clearly indicate how to provide feedback.

  2. First published.