Constructing Scenarios: Cognitive and Methodological Options among Foresight Schools

The technique of drafting futures scenarios spread rapidly in the wake of the Second World War, and became an unrivalled methodological approach for military strategic planning. In the 1950s and 1960s, it developed as a basic method used in forecasting, amid a proliferation of theoretical and epistemological development. This paper examines the intellectual and methodological approaches that emerged across various schools of futurology in an attempt to understand the underlying mechanisms of constructing scenarios in modern future studies. Likewise, it aims to illuminate the fundamental methodological differences in the foundations and methods used in scenario techniques, particularly those which differ across the intuitive/qualitative and probabilistic/quantitative approaches. Finally, the paper examines some Arab attempts at foresight and scenario construction, and tests the ability of these attempts to found pioneering Arab schools of foresight.

Download Article Purchase Issue Subscribe for a year

Abstract

Zoom

The technique of drafting futures scenarios spread rapidly in the wake of the Second World War, and became an unrivalled methodological approach for military strategic planning. In the 1950s and 1960s, it developed as a basic method used in forecasting, amid a proliferation of theoretical and epistemological development. This paper examines the intellectual and methodological approaches that emerged across various schools of futurology in an attempt to understand the underlying mechanisms of constructing scenarios in modern future studies. Likewise, it aims to illuminate the fundamental methodological differences in the foundations and methods used in scenario techniques, particularly those which differ across the intuitive/qualitative and probabilistic/quantitative approaches. Finally, the paper examines some Arab attempts at foresight and scenario construction, and tests the ability of these attempts to found pioneering Arab schools of foresight.

References