What is interesting to me is that current format of nation-states applying soft and hard power is extrapolated into the future as the only conceivable format that serves as an engine to further the aggregate desires of various peoples. We see this phenomenon being played out in the Middle East currently, but I expect Religion to become a much more important player on the world state in this century. With just about every developed nation in the world experiencing various economic and political crisis, it is natural that their citizens will prefer something different.
It has not always been this way throughout history, and I note that publishing cycles are leading indicators for a wide variety of subjects.
This is why the following will be required reading for me:
The Pope's Soldiers: A Military History of the Modern Vatican
The Pope’s Soldiers opens with a reminder that during the Renaissance the Holy See had been a military power with which to reckon, but had then declined rapidly. During the mid-nineteenth century, however, papal military power revived, becoming a credible force for several decades, though one surprisingly over-looked by historians.