Ok - this one is from "Decades of Darkness", an AH TL by Jared on alternatehistory.com (see here [link]
). He has only taken it out to the 1930s, so this is a speculative look at what his world might look like by 2011 - this is _not_ official, and should not be considered as canon.
The situation is one in which the US breaks up not as a result of a victorious confederacy in the 1860s, but as a result of the disgruntlement of New England in the war of 1812 - leaving a shrunken US where the slave states have a numberical advantage...and things go downhill from there.
(OTOH, Germany and Russia have both had a better time...)
The 21st century has seen the start of a shift away from the long "Three Superpowers" era as the world shifts to a more multi-polar situation with South China steadily moving towards superpower status, with Bharat trailing some ways behind. Although the Indo-Pacific Alliance is too decentralized to count as a fourth superpower in itself, it has emerged as a great new zone of high-energy business, challenging the more statist economies of the older powers. Meanwhile, the Damocles Sword of Nuclear Fear continues to dangle above everyones head, and the older powers try to adjust to changes in their relative positions...
The Empire (nowadays thoroughly constitutional) of Russia and the Russian Federation of which it forms the core is still the greatest power on earth, forming a unified economic zone and political alliance of over a billion people. It has loosened up a bit around the edges and lost some of its more unwilling puppets as it has democratized, and occasional squabbles between member states ruffle feathers, but most of the members of the Federation are doing well enough that they see no reason to disrupt the arrangements of the biggest superpower. Indeed, perhaps the biggest problem arises from success - long a troubled and backwards region, the Chinese Empire has benefitted from being the Federation's principal cheap-labor pool to grow mightily economically: although still somewhat poorer than its southern Republican rival, and rather less populous, its economic weight within the Federation has grown greatly in the last thirty years - to the point where Russians begin to worry that one day their leadership of the Federation is bound to be challenged...
Germany is less happy: their economy (in GDP if not GNP terms) is being rapidly overtaken by the South Chinese, and their control of Greater European Union (formerly the Greater European Economic Union) is weak: Germany had to make some decisions about what kind of country it wanted to be after the turbulent 60s, and in the end it decided not to be the sort of country that makes "examples" out of large numbers of unarmed protestors and sends tanks into neighboring states whose political arrangements are diverging from what was previously imposed. This of course has prevented Germany from turning into something more on the lines of OTLs Third Reich or their USA, but it means that the German position in Europe is increasingly one of first among equals rather than Overlord. They've withdrawn all troops from England, let the French (mostly) reunite, let Montenegro pull out and join the Russians...and do they get gratitude? No, people just act as if this was something Germany had been forced to do and therefore nothing to praise. And now the Italians are talking "autonomy" within the Empire...it's enough to make one wonder if Germany did make the right choice back then.
The United States has expanded to pretty much the maximum attainable size (although there may be future possibilities in Africa) and is increasingly consumed with internal issues. The economy, although still growing, is falling behind the other Superpowers (not to mention the Indo-Pacific gang) in high tech and generally in high-value-added enterprises: too many of the population are serfs or only "partially free" in various degrees. Too, the continued and seemingly irreversible growth of the Security State now threatens the liberties of the ruling classes: there is no longer any clear physical distinction between slave and free, and everyone needs their papers at all times. Cameras are everywhere, police are everywhere, informers everywhere. Information services and the internet-equivalent are crippled by security measures - who wants a slave class with full internet access. Increasingly, there is pressure to bring everyone who at least looks white and can speak decent English into the ruling classes: with nearly 50% of the population various classes of non-or-partially-free, the system is looking increasingly inefficient and dangerous to its very rulers. Of course, there are those with very definite opinions about this - and in a state ultimately based on violent supression of dissent and anything even vaguely resembling rebellion, they have ways of expressing these opinions, even at the highest level of government, that the Marquis of Queensbury would not have approved of...
South China is a capitalist state, essentially one-party right-wing rather than one-party left: it started really growing its economy earlier than OTL China, although to some extent hampered by a less globalized economy and a lack of industrial resources due to its missing territories. It wants the North back, bad, but that is not all: it wants to put an end to the general domination of the world by European and European-derived powers. The Afro-Asian Pact is one arm of this effort, the development of an Africa and Asia for Africans and Asians: it has been rather successful in poaching associated members of the Renewed Empire and former German colonies as decolonization picked up steam in the 80s, and is on good terms with the Arab Association (although the Arabs have so far been unwilling to fully adopt South Chinese rhetoric and leadership).
This rather annoys Bharat, which has traditionally taken a neutral stance in world affairs, unwilling to be drawn into Superpower squabbles. It was Bharat which founded the effort to create an independent Asian movement, after all, before being drawn into a battle for leadership with South China, losing, and being cast into the outer darkness. Less economically successful (as in our world, British practices did not endear traditional capitalism to Indians), less well positioned with respect to the new economies of SE Asia, and less agressive (S. China developed its own nuke well in advance of Bharat), the north Indians have developed an angry rivalry with the other Asian giant, and are moving away from neutrality to greater friendship with the Russian Federation, which also does not have much fondness with the state which sponsors (at last count) at least 17 anti-Federation terrorist groups in northern Imperial China.
The Nuclear Fear has gone on far too long, and far too many shaky arms agreements have failed to put an end to it: the Russians and the Germans might be able to call a halt to their old rivalry, but neither trust the Americans enough to allow for a general step-down. There have been some nasty spots before - the New England Missile Crisis (which led to the US occupation of western Canada, nearly led to a nuclear war, and established the current neutral status of New England), the African Crisis (the collapse of the US-allied portuguese dictatorship led to disruptions in their colonial territory, and a territory-grabbing rush which led to military clashed between US and Restored Empire forces, and nearly expanded into something rather worse) and the Space Wars Crisis arising in the late 90s when the Russians rather badly disrupted the Balance of Terror by trying to build a truly effective orbitally based anti-missile system, which led the Americans to Spaz Out badly (the currently Joint International Space Development setup is dedicated to extending the Balance of Power into space as well as on Earth).
(The Germans and the Russians have had a couple unpleasant Moments of their own: missile flight times between German and Russian territory are short)