The Project to Forecast the Future of the Arab Homeland: Between Foresight and Ideological Prediction

"The Project to Forecast the Future of the Arab Homeland" was a vast endeavor in terms of its ambitions and its challenges as well as the wide view it took of the concept of foresight. With the support and oversight of the Center for Arab Unity Studies, the project was divided into four distinct sections: the methodology adopted; general lessons related to Arab state and society, Arabs and the wider world, Arab development and global and regional prospects; Arab future scenarios; and policy and mechanisms for change. The predictions made by the project extend to 2015, providing the rationale for the present project, which investigates the differences between the results of forecasting the Arab situation in 2015 and present reality. The paper compares the conceptions of the research team with the actual outcomes, and takes a critical look at the enterprise of foresight, ultimately asking: was the project genuinely an exercise in foresight or was it an ideological folly.

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"The Project to Forecast the Future of the Arab Homeland" was a vast endeavor in terms of its ambitions and its challenges as well as the wide view it took of the concept of foresight. With the support and oversight of the Center for Arab Unity Studies, the project was divided into four distinct sections: the methodology adopted; general lessons related to Arab state and society, Arabs and the wider world, Arab development and global and regional prospects; Arab future scenarios; and policy and mechanisms for change. The predictions made by the project extend to 2015, providing the rationale for the present project, which investigates the differences between the results of forecasting the Arab situation in 2015 and present reality. The paper compares the conceptions of the research team with the actual outcomes, and takes a critical look at the enterprise of foresight, ultimately asking: was the project genuinely an exercise in foresight or was it an ideological folly.

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