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This Research Report forms part of our series on global societal trends and their impact on the EU in 2030. This analysis is embedded within the framework of the European Strategy and Policy Analysis System (ESPAS) set up to develop a lasting framework to assess global trends and to develop policy responses across EU institutions over the next institutional cycle (2014–2019). The first phase of the project assessed the long-term, international, domestic, economic and political trends facing the European Union over the next two decades; the second phase of the project split trends into three streams, namely the economy, governance and power, and society. RAND Europe's assessment of likely global societal trends constituted 'Trend Report 2 — Society' for this second phase.

This report presents the evidence base, uncertainties and potential trajectories surrounding trends in one of the six major themes which form part of Trend Report 2 — Society, namely individual empowerment. The report analyses how human development, grassroots movements and access to the internet and social media are likely to empower citizens in Europe and beyond, forming a significant societal challenge for the EU in the coming decades. These changes stem partly from technological progress and the rising schooling rates in many countries across the globe, and the new ways in which citizens engage with the state.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One

    Delimiting individual empowerment

  • Chapter Two

    Access to education as a driver of empowerment

  • Chapter Three

    Gender equality: a dimension of individual empowerment

  • Chapter Four

    The spread of human rights as a corollary of empowerment

  • Chapter Five

    Political participation and the evolution of grassroots movements

Research conducted by

The research described in this report was prepared for the Bureau of European Policy Advisers, BEPA and conducted by RAND Europe.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation research report series. RAND reports present research findings and objective analysis that address the challenges facing the public and private sectors. All RAND reports undergo rigorous peer review to ensure high standards for research quality and objectivity.

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