Scenario Building as a Method in IR
AbstractThis article presents an overview of the historical development of scenario building as a way of productively relating to the future in international politics against the background of the discussion of the systemic theories’ predictive power deficit. It outlines a methodological framework of the “new scenario building” in which point forecasts are abandoned in favour of creative thinking about possible alternative futures with the aim of challenging intersubjectively shared assumptions in the field of both theory and practice, broadening the space of thinking about international affairs, and advancing political wisdom in the process of confronting the future as it unreels with the imagined future(s). Finally, it puts forward a method of scenario building anchored in this framework through which scholars in the field of international relations may improve the practical relevance of their historical and theoretical knowledge in the eyes of policy makers and the public at large.
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