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Article
Publication date: 13 April 2015

Shermon O. Cruz

The purpose of this paper is to provide a critical and informative exploration of the emerging roles and rising influence of the Global South in shaping the future of…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide a critical and informative exploration of the emerging roles and rising influence of the Global South in shaping the future of global governance. Specifically, it inquires into the following questions: How is the Global South impacting the way we govern globally? What are the pushers, pulls and weights to the futures of global governance? Using Jim Dator’s alternative futures archetype, what is the future of global governance? What are the emerging issues and trends?

Design/methodology/approach

It uses Sohail Inayatullah’s futures triangle to map the drivers – the pushes, pulls and weights of global governance and Jim Dator’s archetypes – continued economic growth, collapse, conserver and transformation – to imagine and construct alternative futures of global governance.

Findings

The futures triangle analysis maps and reveals three diverse but causally linked Global South narratives of global governance. The pulls of the future include the Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa leading the way, and emerging economies reinforcing the pluralization of global governance discourses and systems. New governance regimes create new global governance dynamics and North – South relations. Their increasing social, political and economic clout leads to new governance structures. The Global South’s rising human development index, economic growth, decreasing financial reliance, the rise of minilateralism and South – South cooperation is a push of the present. Weights are recurring financial constraints, their lack of technical capacity, existing international laws, stagnating bureaucracy, poverty, domestic issues and state centrism (among others). Four alternative global governance scenarios emerge: a harmonious world is everybody’s business – a state-centric and economic growth global governance future. Here, the dynamics of global governance remain the same as zero-sum thinking informs the rules of the game. In dangerous transitions and the rise of the rest, however, the status quo is disrupted as power shifts rapidly and detrimentally. Then, in mosaic of the old structure, the South embraces protectionism, and the old vanguards return. Finally, in all boats rise substantially, power is redistributed as emerging states gain larger, formal (and informal) leadership roles in global governance. The global world order is re-designed for the Global South. A world parliament is created and stronger regional confederation or unions emerge.

Research limitations/implications

This paper extensively utilizes existing and emerging literature, official reports, blogs, interviews, books and other digital texts on global governance. The sources relevance is analyzed using the futures triangle tool and dissected to present four detailed scenarios using Dator’s alternative futures archetype. This study seeks to initially explore alternative futures of global governance from the perspective of the Global South. While some studies have approached the topic, only a few authors have addressed global governance using futures tools and methods. The goal of this research is to map and explore some alternative futures of global governance. The paper is less useful in predicting what lies ahead. Its intention is to highlight the “rise of the different” and to create a space for more meaningful conversations on global governance.

Practical implications

This research could provide futurists, policy-makers, international relations scholars and global governance advocates some alternative narratives, frameworks and images of global governance. While it does not offer any specific structures and solutions, it offers a number of emerging issues and perspectives from the Global South that decision-makers and institutions might want to consider as they rethink global governance.

Social implications

This paper highlights the emerging roles and perspectives of the Global South in global governance. It identifies some “trading zones” and “emerging issues” that may inspire actors to create new global governance spaces, innovate alternative narratives and design new frameworks of global governance.

Originality/value

It maps and constructs some plausible scenarios of global governance that emphasize Global South perspectives while using futures tools and methods.

Article
Publication date: 1 February 1976

JAMES F. McNAMARA

Futures research and long‐range planning in an urban school district involve the use of a methodology having no direct answers or precise rules in terms of experimental…

Abstract

Futures research and long‐range planning in an urban school district involve the use of a methodology having no direct answers or precise rules in terms of experimental and design alternatives. While some design options can be found in operations research and management science, futures research projects in education are more likely to follow the directions for policy analysis initially suggested by Yehezkel Dror and re‐examined in Aaron Wildavsky. They note in policy analysis, 1. Much attention would be paid to the political aspects of public decision‐making and public policy‐making (instead of ignoring or condescendingly regarding political aspects) … 2. A broad conception of decision‐making and policy‐making would be involved (instead of viewing all decision‐making as mainly a resources allocation) … 3. A main emphasis would be on creativity and search for new policy alternatives, with explicit attention to encouragement of innovative thinking … 4. There would be extensive reliance on … qualitative methods … 5. There would be much more emphasis on futuristic thinking … 6. The approach would be looser and less rigid, but nevertheless systematic, one which would recognise the complexity of means‐ends interdependence, the multiplicity of relevant criteria of decision, and the partial and tentative nature of every analysis … (Wildavsky, Aaron, “Rescuing Policy Analysis from PPBS” Public Administration Review 29. 1969. pp. 189–202. Wildavsky's reference is to Dror's “Policy Analysts : A New Professional Role in Government Service” Public Administration Review. 27. 1967. pp.200–201). The intent is to describe a single futures research project conducted in a large urban school district staff development program. It is reported here as a means to outline a general approach to policy planning that might be used or adapted by other administrators who share an interest in futures research.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 14 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

Article
Publication date: 1 June 2001

François Vreÿ

A century ago, military instruments were readily deployed in imperialistic adventures or the defence of national interests. Today the strategic environment is more complex…

Abstract

A century ago, military instruments were readily deployed in imperialistic adventures or the defence of national interests. Today the strategic environment is more complex and diplomatic protocols more established. The information revolution is meanwhile telescoping time frames and proliferating futures scenarios. But even if the politicians are driving the agenda, the security imperative remains the same. For defence planners that implies new models and mechanisms, and a closer nexus in the formulation of political and defence policy.

Details

Foresight, vol. 3 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6689

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 22 February 2008

Sohail Inayatullah

The purpose of this paper is to present a new approach to the study of the future.

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present a new approach to the study of the future.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper describes six foundational concepts (the used future, the disowned future, alternative futures, alignment, models of social change, and uses of the future), six questions (will, fear, missing, alternatives, wish, and next steps as related to the future) and six pillars (mapping, anticipating, timing, deepening, creating alternatives, and transforming), giving examples and case studies where appropriate.

Findings

In an increasingly complex and heterogeneous world, futures studies can help people to recover their agency, and help them to create the world in which they wish to live.

Originality/value

The paper integrates and builds on a variety of futures studies' concepts, ways of thinking and techniques and integrates them into a new approach.

Details

Foresight, vol. 10 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6689

Keywords

Abstract

Details

Mapping a Winning Strategy: Developing and Executing a Successful Strategy in Turbulent Markets
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78756-129-8

Article
Publication date: 13 April 2015

Anita Sykes-Kelleher

The topics of an emerging planetary civilisation and its common affairs, global problems requiring coordinated worldwide responses and contested forms of globalisation are…

Abstract

Purpose

The topics of an emerging planetary civilisation and its common affairs, global problems requiring coordinated worldwide responses and contested forms of globalisation are collectively stimulating an international conversation about alternatives to the current system of global governance. The purpose of this paper is to introduce new voices to the conversation, providing unconventional perspectives of possible futures to those found in much of the scholarly literature. These perspectives are those of the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organisation (UNPO), an international non-government organisation comprising nations and peoples not represented at the United Nations (UN).

Design/methodology/approach

Collectively the discourses and worldviews of the UNPO, feminists, social and environmental movements, Cosmopolitan Democrats, technocrats and the Commission on Global Governance reveal contesting images of global governance futures in which the UN is transformed in ways that are aligned to emerging forms of alternative globalisations. The Causal Layered Analysis (CLA) futures research method is used to construct models of each group’s preferred global governance future from elements of their discourses and deeply held ideological commitments.

Findings

Structural aspects are also considered and the author offers an analytical framework summarising the models against the layers of CLA and the history, power base, globalisation worldview and agency congruent with each model. The models are then presented as visionary scenarios generating images of future alternatives while providing an opportunity to hear what the nations unrepresented in the current system have to say.

Originality/value

Their image produced a more inclusive, egalitarian and holistic image of a global governance future when compared with the “business as usual” UN future. As we approach 2015 and the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the UN, this conversation provides a timely prompt for the review of the UN system of global governance and an opportunity for the UN to consider how it might transform to retain relevance in a rapidly changing global environment.

Details

Foresight, vol. 17 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6689

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 9 April 2018

Ali Asghar Pourezzat, Mohammad Hoseini Moghadam, Maryam Sani Ejlal and Ghazaleh Taheriattar

Through an examination of macro-historical studies on the governance of Iran, the purpose of this study is to identify the most significant and important events and trends…

Abstract

Purpose

Through an examination of macro-historical studies on the governance of Iran, the purpose of this study is to identify the most significant and important events and trends in the rise and fall of Iranian governments and introduce alternative futures in a range of possible, plausible and preferable forms of future governance. To carry out a foresight study of alternative futures of Iranian governance, the authors used futures studies, based on the detection of the most critical driving forces, which are also the most important uncertainties. Futures studies as an interdisciplinary field of study help to identify the events and trends that affect political change and offer scenarios of four alternative futures for the governance of Iran: Smart and Stable Government, Authoritarian Development-oriented Government, Irrational Government and Irrational Breakable Government. The authors believe that Iran’s endeavors to promote democracy, taking the changing international trends into account, make a more trustworthy future for Iran both possible plausible.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on macro-history approach and by using “shared history”, future triangle and then scenario planning, the future of Governance in Iran has been analyzed.

Findings

Whenever the government has distanced itself from the public and has neglected the trend of international change, it has been faced with a period of collapse and annihilation. And whenever these two important factors are understood, the result is a trend of development and growth. Therefore, the most favored image of Iran’s future relies on the maintenance and promotion of public participation and on increasing attention to the sustainable realities of international relations.

Originality/value

The complexities of events and trends affecting the rise and fall of previous governments of Iran make it necessary to use an interdisciplinary approach to understand the events that have emerged or are emerging in its governance. In this study, from futures studies point of view, transformation of governance has been studied.

Details

foresight, vol. 20 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6689

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 6 October 2020

Lilla Vicsek

What is the future of work going to look like? The aim of this paper is to show how the sociology of expectations (SE) – which deals with the power of visions – can make…

Abstract

Purpose

What is the future of work going to look like? The aim of this paper is to show how the sociology of expectations (SE) – which deals with the power of visions – can make important contributions in terms of thinking about this issue by critically evaluating the dominant expert positions related to the future-of-employment- and artificial intelligence (AI) debate.

Design/methodology/approach

After providing a literature review regarding SE, an approach based on the latter is applied to interpret the dominant ideal-type expert positions in the future of work debate to illustrate the value of this perspective.

Findings

Dominant future scripts can be characterized by a focus on the effects of AI technology that give agency to technology and to the future, involve the hype of expectations with polarized frames, and obscure uncertainty. It is argued that these expectations can have significant consequences. They contribute to the closing off of alternative pathways to the future by making some conversations possible, while hindering others. In order to advance understanding, more sophisticated theorizing is needed which goes beyond these positions and which takes uncertainty and the mutual shaping of technology and society into account – including the role expectations play.

Research limitations/implications

The study asserts that the dominant positions contain problematic assumptions. It makes suggestions for helping move beyond these current framings of the debate theoretically. It also argues that scenario building and backcasting are two tools that could help move forward thinking about the future of work – especially if this is done in a way so as to build strongly on SE.

Practical implications

The arguments presented herein enhance sense-making in relation to the future-of-work debate, and can contribute to policy development.

Originality/value

There is a lack of adequate exploration of the role of visions related to AI and their consequences. This paper attempts to address this gap by applying an SE approach and emphasizing the performative force of visions.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 41 no. 7/8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 10 November 2014

Jim Dator

This paper aims to offer real and explicit reasons for viewing the futures of humanity and Earth as positive, fulfilling and meaningful, if humans view it as such and act…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to offer real and explicit reasons for viewing the futures of humanity and Earth as positive, fulfilling and meaningful, if humans view it as such and act to make it so. The paper incorporates the results of several recent research projects and activities that were based on the assumptions of an earlier paper titled, “The Unholy Trinity, Plus One.” It argues that the conclusions of the original paper are even more obvious and urgent than they were originally, and that while an “alternative futures” perspective must always be the basis of any statements about or actions toward the futures, the concerns of The Unholy Trinity, Plus One, are now part of a “new normal” that must be incorporated in each of the alternatives. This paper emphasizes that this “new normal” is, and must be prepared for as, a splendid opportunity for humans to start on new adventures; that one episode of human history (based on cheap and abundant energy, a benign environment, effective government and continued economic growth) is over, and a world with different challenges and opportunities for New Beginnings has already opened up. It concludes by offering an example of how the transition might be approached and managed positively and effectively.

Design/methodology/approach

Both papers relied heavily on a combination of trend analysis and emerging issues analysis viewed through the lens of four generic alternative futures for understanding continuing trends and anticipating new, emerging issues, and for then formulating appropriate anticipatory responses to them.

Findings

The fundamental findings reconfirm and deepen the original findings – that it is far too late to prevent or postpone the transformative effects of The Unholy Trinity, Plus One; that one must and can prepare for and welcome them as providing humans now and in the immediate futures with an opportunity for innovation, identity, meaning and vibrant lives. The research and practical experiences and simulations illuminated ways in which these positive futures might be achieved.

Research limitations/implications

It is urgent that humans now turn their attention from either denying the fact of overwhelming change or trying to prop up old economic, governmental and educational systems, and begin to invent new systems that are appropriate for making the transition from the old environment to new ones.

Social implications

At the end of the paper, the authors offer one example of a successful transition, based on the research. It is presented as though humans are in Hawaii in the future, after oil has stopped flowing, along with the imported food, products and tourists upon which humans are now entirely dependent, and Hawaii has once again become entirely self-sufficient and prosperous.

Originality/value

The main focus of the paper, in contrast to most that deal with this issue, is to encourage readers not only to consider the inevitability of rapid and extensive social, environmental, resource and institutional change, but also, by viewing the situation as a positive, welcomed opportunity for innovation and improvement, actually to make it so.

Details

foresight, vol. 16 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6689

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 14 August 2017

Andy Hines

This paper aims to describe the approach used by the research team to explore the topic of future student needs. It described the specific method, Framework Foresight, and…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to describe the approach used by the research team to explore the topic of future student needs. It described the specific method, Framework Foresight, and how it was adapted to meet the circumstances of topic and client.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper focuses on the approach that guided the original research study on which this special issue is based. It describes the use of the Framework Foresight method developed by the Houston Foresight program and how it was adapted for the project.

Findings

The paper demonstrates how the Framework Foresight method can be effectively used to explore the future of a topic, in this case future student needs. It points out how it can be adapted or customized to suit particular topic or client needs.

Research limitations/implications

The research focused on the student perspective and identified implications of those findings for higher education institutions and their stakeholders. It did not explicitly focus on how to “fix” higher education or its institutions.

Practical implications

The Framework Foresight method is presented as an effective way to way to explore the future of a topic, in this case future student needs. The paper makes the case that the method develops a solid foundation for developing interesting and useful findings and recommendation for action.

Originality/value

This paper is the first to explicitly identify and describe the application of the Framework Foresight and how it can be customized to explore the future of a topic.

Details

On the Horizon, vol. 25 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1074-8121

Keywords

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