Is the academic field of International Relations losing out because it doesn’t embrace foresight thinking? What can we do about this? If you have views and thoughts on this, read on and fill out the survey.
This year, at the International Studies Association 2014 Conference, I am hosting a Roundtable on the use of strategic foresight in International Relations, entitled: ‘Spaces and Places: Geopolitics in an Era of Globalization’. The purpose of this Roundtable is to bring together International Relations scholars and practitioners to discuss the role of strategic foresight in international relations, and to strengthen the community of interest to take this endeavour forward. To prepare for this Roundtable I am conducting a survey on the practice of strategic foresight in international relations, and am seeking your views on this issue.
Strategic foresight approaches, when incorporated into long-term planning processes, can have significant impact on international policy-making. Looking beyond the shape of present challenges and opportunities to those rising up on the horizon is arguably an indispensable and necessary role of government. At this time of geopolitical uncertainty, there is growing interest in this approach to understand developments in the spatial dimensions of foreign policy. Yet foresight has a strangely marginal position in the International Relations academic sphere and is largely absent from most International Relations faculties and courses. Questions remain about the effectiveness of strategic foresight in influencing decision-making.