From near the end of John Robb's "Brave New War: the Next Stage of Terrorism and the End of Globalization":
...By building resilience into the fabric of our daily life, our response to these threats will organically emerge in what seems like an effortless way. Without them, we will suffer the effects of dynamic shocks on a brittle system. With this in mind, I've created a scenario that characterizes what a breakdown looks like to serve as a warning of what we can expect in the future....
...High oil prices, a significant drop in global economic activity these prices cause, and numerous attacks by global guerillas will put globilization into retreat. Barriers will emerge against outside threats (both economic and security) along the borders of every major trading bloc. the drop in trade and the inflation this creates will be absorbed badly by most major economies. It will be a disaster within China. The Chinese government lost any residueal claim to nation-state legitimacy in the 1990s because of rampant corruption and inattention to the basic needs of its citizen. Its only source of legitimacy was vbased on market-state norms: economic opportunity and growth. with the decline of global trade, the Chinese bubble economy will go into free fall. Any Clains to its one one form of legitimacy that formed over the last three decades of scintillating growth will be shatered in less than a year. Mass protests will rise from the 2006 average of two hundred a day to the thousands. Furthermore, the protests will become more violent.
Initially, the Chinese government will try to crack down on these protests through the use of its recently expanded paramilitaries. However, these well-armed irregulars will only exacerbvagte the violence when they cause seeral massacres. As the cycle of violence accelerates, the Chinese military will be rushed in to quell the protests. Without legitimacy, however, Chinese military units will melt away when faced with killing protesters. Several may even join with the protestors to sow regional chaos. With the country in full disintegration, rfegional and local governments will begin to declare their independence from the central government (and in several cases, with newly installed management)> China will finally revert to its historical norm: fragmentation.
John Robb's website is Global Guerrillas.
A Wired magazine interview with John Robb: "Inside Brave New War."