In a paper from the London School of Economics, Professor Danny Quah traces what he calls the global economy's "shifting center of gravity." By this Quah means the average location of economic activity around the world.
Quah's paper considers GDP produced by all countries around the globe. He finds that since 1980, the "center of gravity" moved from the western to the eastern world. In 2008, the center of gravity was pulled between Helsinki, Finland, and Bucharest, Romania. By 2050, this economic center of gravity is expected to be located between India and China, if trends continue.
As economic dominance moves eastward, so, too will global and political influence in the next 50-100 years. Many policy questions will not change, but approaches to them may, such as political and military interventions.