Handbook of Futures Studies

9781035301591 Edward Elgar Publishing
Edited by Roberto Poli, Professor of Philosophy of Science, Department of Sociology and Social Research, University of Trento, Italy
Publication Date: July 2024 ISBN: 978 1 03530 159 1 Extent: 542 pp
This insightful Handbook emphasizes the unique contribution that Futures Studies offers when understanding and managing current situations. Contributing authors argue that by learning to examine the future in the present, individuals and organizations can expand their abilities to analyze, assess and ultimately make better decisions.

This title contains one or more Open Access chapters.

Copyright & permissions

Recommend to librarian

Your Details

Privacy Policy

Librarian Details

Download leaflet

Print page

More Information
Critical Acclaim
More Information
This insightful Handbook emphasizes the unique contribution that Futures Studies offers when understanding and managing current situations. Contributing authors argue that by learning to examine the future in the present, individuals and organizations can expand their abilities to analyse, assess and ultimately make better decisions.

Bringing together experts across an array of disciplines, this Handbook demonstrates the connections between Futures Studies and the corresponding twin fields of sociology, anthropology, cognitive sciences and economics. Chapter authors discuss Futures Studies in public institutions, explore the necessity for better corporate foresight, and clarify the difference between Futures Studies and Anticipation Theory. Ultimately, the Handbook of Futures Studies emphasizes how focusing on the past has often elicited division and fragmentation, and posits that learning to focus on the future, and on emerging issues, has the potential to create greater convergence.

This authoritative addition to the field is of great benefit to futurist academics, scholars and students as well as those specializing in the related fields of sociology, anthropology, psychology and economics. It is also an excellent resource for social practitioners and activists looking to appreciate the novelties that emerge from explicitly addressing the variety of possible futures.
Critical Acclaim
‘This Handbook is a rich orientation to the fundamental questions of Futures Studies. These questions are not easy by their nature and answering them often takes us into deep waters. I am convinced that the book will provide fascinating ideas and perspectives for anyone with a serious academic interest in Futures Studies.’
– Markku Wilenius, University of Turku, Finland

‘There is nothing more important than for a study field to reflect upon itself. Poli assembles a tour de force of contemporary Futures Studies scholars in a bold effort to describe and excavate this evolving field of knowledge, practice and commentary in all its variety. A useful introspection and an important read.’
– Geci Karuri-Sebina, University of Witwatersrand, South Africa

‘Futures Studies support wiser decision-making about the future in the present day. This Handbook is hugely welcome because it compellingly redefines the field. Diverse chapters illustrate what Futures Studies can offer to decision-makers who face unprecedented local-to-global challenges and accelerating change. I strongly recommend it to you.’
– Gerald Midgley, University of Hull, UK, University of Birmingham, UK and Linnaeus University, Sweden

‘Poli’s Handbook correctly identifies the terminological and disciplinary confusion associated with the field of Futures Studies. Of particular note is how the Handbook amalgamates Futures Studies as a field of enquiry, captures its relevance to other disciplines and, more importantly, demonstrates its utility in addressing contemporary issues. It is with a deep sense of relief and congratulations that I welcome the publication of this seminal work.’
– Luke van der Laan, University of Southern Queensland, Australia

‘As a provocative attempt to reconcile Anticipatory Systems with a broad array of contemporary Futures thinking and practice, this book is sure to inspire and challenge. It will be welcomed by theorists and practitioners alike who appreciate the value of multiple perspectives that inform and enable the continuing evolution of their discipline.’
– Richard Slaughter, Foresight International, Australia

‘Roberto Poli and Edward Elgar Publishing perform a necessary service by publishing this Handbook of Futures Studies. While Futures Studies has flourished below the radar of many people’s awareness for decades, there has been no recent single source to which inquirers could turn for concise, authoritative guidance about the subject.’
– Jim Dator, University of Hawaii at Mānoa, US
Preface xi
1 Introduction: the subtle interplay between Futures Studies and
Anticipation Theory 1
Roberto Poli
2 About the history of Futures Studies 10
Roberto Paura
3 History and future 25
David J. Staley
4 Futures in a dance with systems theory: fields in an overlapping paradigm 39
Marius Oosthuizen
5 As through a glass darkly: a complex systems approach to futures 48
Dave Snowden
6 Studying the future in the present moment 66
Anthony Hodgson
7 A pluriversal definition of Futures Studies: critical futures studies from
margin to centre 80
Kwamou Eva Feukeu
8 Futures Studies: from perceived injustice to the transformational present 98
Sohail Inayatullah
9 Liberating the human imagination: futures literacy and the
diversification of anticipation 117
Riel Miller
10 Creativity and Futures Studies 131
Giovanni Emanuele Corazza
11 Museum futures and other heritage futures 145
Anders Högberg and Cornelius Holtorf
12 Education’s futures and futures in education 157
Keri Facer and Terra Sprague
13 The future as an educational instrument: FutLabs in the classroom 170
Elena Petrucci and Francesco Brunori
14 From normal to postnormal futures 184
Jordi Serra del Pino
15 Queer futuring: transformational transcendence 192
M. Jayne Fleener
16 Science fiction futures: historical foundations 209
Thomas Lombardo
17 Science fiction futures: contemporary developments 223
Thomas Lombardo
18 Conflict transformation futures 240
Ivana Milojević
19 Responsible futures 259
Ted Fuller, Fabrice Roubelat, April Ward, Narcis Heraclide and Anne
20 Anticipatory risk management: steps forward 280
Antonio Furlanetto
21 Between: a fieldnote on moving from futures and foresight to effective
action (and back again) 295
Victoria Ward
22 Measuring foresight’s maturity: Future Orienteering Evaluation Model 317
Giulia Fasoli and Roberto Poli
23 Futures studies methods: a typology and guide to research design 328
Tanja Hichert and Wendy Schultz
24 Helping people think about the future: insights from cognitive science 360
Peter Padbury
25 Overcoming the Cassandra syndrome: limits to and conditions of
anticipatory governance 369
Marie-Hélène Caillol
26 The interplay between international relations and futures studies in the
complexity context 386
Adrian Pop
27 Foresight and anticipation in multilateral organisations 404
Aarathi Krishnan
28 Regional Foresight 416
Rocco Scolozzi
29 The benefits of negative thinking: strategic foresight in military planning 428
Olaf Theiler
30 An inquiry into my entanglement with corporate foresight – and beyond 439
Roumiana Gotseva
31 The use of foresight in corporate innovation 459
Christian Crews
32 Demography and the variety of generations 466
Isabella Pierantoni
33 Water and the climate crisis 478
Luke Tay
34 Exploring pathways of smart city futures: insights from engaged foresight 493
Shermon Cruz and Nicole Parreno-Moura
35 The future of Futures Studies: a utopian tale 505
Roberto Poli
eBook for individuals
978 1 03530 160 7
From $65.00
Click here for options
eBook for library purchase
978 1 03530 160 7
View sample chapter and check access on:
eBook options

Available for individuals to buy from these websites

Or recommend to your institution to acquire on Elgaronline
  • Buy as part of an eBook subject collection - flexible options available
  • Downloading and printing allowed
  • No limits on concurrent user access, ideal for course use
My Cart