Steering the future. The emergence of “Western” futures research and its production of expertise, 1950s to early 1970s View Full Text


Ontology type: schema:ScholarlyArticle      Open Access: True


Article Info

DATE

2014-12

AUTHORS

Elke Seefried

ABSTRACT

This article deals with the emergence of Futures Research after 1945 and its production of future expertise. The field of futures research (or futures studies/futurology) was conceptualised in a process of circulating knowledge in Western Europe and the USA during the 1950s and 1960s. These approaches to thinking about, forecasting and planning the future drew their arsenal of new methods largely from the field of cybernetics (such as Systems Analysis). What is more, futures research produced expertise for policy development and strategic planning. As a result of the dynamic changes in science and technology and the breakthrough of Keynesianism, the 1960s symbolized the high time of political planning in Western Europe and the USA. The paper aims to analyse the forms and character of future expertise utilized in government and administration during the 1960s. It will focus on West German futures research and its advisory role for the Federal Government but will also take transnational transfers of knowledge and comparative aspects into account. The paper will show that major strands of futures research of the 1960s were explicitly confident that they would be able to plan and control the future by using “modern” and rational methods. This led partly to a euphoria of steering. In the early 1970s, however, this confidence was shattered. One reason for this were dramatic problems in utilizing future expertise in government. More... »

PAGES

29

Identifiers

URI

http://scigraph.springernature.com/pub.10.1007/s40309-013-0029-y

DOI

http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s40309-013-0029-y

DIMENSIONS

https://app.dimensions.ai/details/publication/pub.1038598098


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