There have been some interesting comments in the reviews. One intelligent & attractive reader made mention of the political situation I've imagined for the future.
I had in mind a future in which humans eventually discover faster-than-light travel, and quickly begin to scout out the local galactic neighbourhood. Because Earth's nation-states get along so well with each other, they'd all rush to claim planets for their own. As fast as they could, they'd be founding colonies which immediately set about the vital task of looking suspiciously at other colonies.
Naturally, a great deal of work would go into choosing which planets to colonise, but at the same time there would be a certain frantic rush to 'grab' planets before other countries grabbed them.
The result of it all, I imagined, would be a sort of 'planetary lottery'. If a less affluent country grabbed some planets that turned out to be wildly lucrative, while a major power colonised a bunch of duds, the power balance would shift. Add to that the usual
During all this, I can only assume that alien races would be observing the humans go about their usual mayhem, watching us with a combination of fascination and dread.
How likely is this future? Not very, I shouldn't think. But if you went to London around 1750 and told them that their thirteen quaint little colonies in America would become the global superpower, they'd probably lock you up. So who knows? It's part of the fun.