Futures studies is a new field of inquiry involving systematic and explicit thinking about alternative futures. It aims to demystify the future, make possibilities for the future more known to us, and increase human control over the future. Author Wendell Bell brings together futurist intellectual tools, describing and explaining not only the methods, but also the nature, concepts, theories, and exemplars of the field. Now available in paperback with a new preface from the author, Foundations of Future Studies is the fundamental work on the subject. Bell illustrates how this sphere of intellectual activity offers hope for the future of humanity and concrete ways of realizing that hope in the real world of everyday life. His book will appeal to all interested in futures studies, sociology, economics, political science, and history.
"Considerable progress has been made in understanding the underlying mechanisms driving the long-wave behavior of the world socioeconomic development. In spite of this progress one recognizes that many aspects related with these underlying driving forces remained unsolved. One of these aspects endured, perhaps as the most controversial one: the close relationship between K-waves and the outbreak of major wars. Social scientists and politicians are well acquainted with the fact that chance events have been responsible for the outbreak of wars and their course and outcome. Two main trends are now acknowledged: the increasing recognition of the existence of some cyclical patterns of warfare involving the core of the world system, and a shift toward newly evolving patterns involving non-state actors and asymmetric warfare. We may tentatively agree that wars are not merely the result of blind social and political forces, but patterned according to long socioeconomic cycles and the result of deep and general laws underlying the co-evolutionary unfolding of the world system. In the first part of this book, the reader will find a mix of contributions dealing with new visions or revisions of the concept of long waves considered from very different perspectives related to their unfolding. Those contributions discussing the issue of K-waves and their relation with military conflicts objectively, following old and / or new conceptualizations of the phenomenon, were selected to form the books second part. Finally those contributions with strong emphasis on the analysis of future scenarios, related or not related with warfare and / or world security compose the body of the third part."
Assessing the future is vital in informing public policy decisions. One of the most widespread approaches is the development of scenarios, which are alternative hypothetical futures. Research has indicated, however, that the reality of how professionals go about employing scenarios is often starkly at odds with the theory - a finding that has important ramifications for how the resulting images of the future should be interpreted. It also shows the need for rewriting and updating theory. This book, based on an intensive five year study of how experts actually go about assessing the future, provides a groundbreaking examination of foresighting in action. Obtained via ethnographic techniques, the results lay bare for the first time the real processes by which scenarios are made. It is also the first book to examine foresighting for public policy, which is so often overlooked in favour of business practice. From handling of discontinuity to historical determinism, the analysis reveals and explains why foresight is difficult and what the major pitfalls are. Each chapter ends with a toolkit of recommendations for practice. The book aims to help readers to reflect on their own practices of public-oriented foresight and thus to foster a deeper understanding of the key principles and challenges. Ultimately, this will lead to better informed decision making.
Some important questions are discussed in this book: Are there any civilisations other than the Western one living in our so-called Global-Age? 'Eastern civilisation'? Is the concept of East anything more than non-West? Or does there exist, in reality, a distinct Chinese, Indian, Arabo-Muslim, and Western civilisation? Is the construction of large civilisation-states such as China and India an unparalleled historical achievement? Do economic ties always eclipse other forms of affiliation such as those formed through kinship or between speech communities? What is the role of the 'Latin' and the Jewish Peoples in our Anglo-American-led Western world? Is English today the global language or merely an international one? Is the Chinese thought pattern closely related to its writing system? Is today's world one of (symmetrical) interdependence? Or rather one of hegemony? If the so-called North-South or East-West dialogue fails in constructing a universally accepted world civilisation, then what is the appropriate arrangement for reaching such a consensus within humankind?
Mecca is the heart of Islam. It is the birthplace of Muhammad, the direction towards which Muslims turn when they pray and the site of pilgrimage which annually draws some three million Muslims from all corners of the world. Yet Mecca's importance goes beyond religion. What happens in Mecca and how Muslims think about the political and cultural history of Mecca has had and continues to have a profound influence on world events to this day. In this captivating book, Ziauddin Sardar unravels the significance of Mecca. Tracing its history, from its origins as a 'barren valley' in the desert to its evolution as a trading town and sudden emergence as the religious centre of a world empire, Sardar examines the religious struggles and rebellions in Mecca that have powerfully shaped Muslim culture. Interweaving stories of his own pilgrimages to Mecca with those of others, Sardar offers a unique insight into not just the spiritual aspects of Mecca – the passion, ecstasy and longing it evokes – but also the conflict between heritage and modernity that has characterised its history. He unpeels the physical, social and cultural dimensions that have helped transform the city and also, though accounts of such Orientalist travellers as Richard Burton and Charles Doughty, the strange fascination that Mecca has long inspired in the Western imagination. And, ultimately, he explores what this tension could mean for Mecca's future. An illuminative, lyrical and witty blend of history, reportage and memoir, this outstanding book reflects all that is profound, enlightening and curious about one of the most important religious sites in the world.
For a full list of entries and contributors, sample entries, and more, visit the Routledge International Encyclopedia of Women website. Featuring comprehensive global coverage of women's issues and concerns, from violence and sexuality to feminist theory, the Routledge International Encyclopedia of Women brings the field into the new millennium. In over 900 signed A-Z entries from US and Europe, Asia, the Americas, Oceania, and the Middle East, the women who pioneered the field from its inception collaborate with the new scholars who are shaping the future of women's studies to create the new standard work for anyone who needs information on women-related subjects.
As we enter the Twenty-First Century, it is easy to assume that worsening trends in violence will be a feature of our lives, whether in our schools, our societies or as a species. Educating Beyond Violent Futures challenges assumptions that trends in violence are destiny, and raises crucial questions about choice and engagement. Drawing upon new research, this book is essential reading for those who want to prepare our children for living constructively in the next century
"This is an inspiring story of courage and sacrifice--one hell of an exciting true war story!" --Kenn Miller Author of Tiger the Lurp Dog On 17 June 1970, in Mondol Kiri Province, Cambodia, the five men of Long-Range Reconnaissance Patrol (LRRP) Team 5-2 were about to halt for the day. Night was coming, the skies were dark, and so were the men's thoughts--they'd just found freshly dug NVA bunkers inside a scrub-brush tree line and their position was not secure. As they carefully searched for better night lager, they learned the hard way that they had walked into an ambush kill zone: NVA fire quickly downed two men and wounded two others. In minutes, Team 5-2 had been transformed from the hunters to the hunted. They had no radio comms with their headquarters and had just two rifles and fifteen magazines of ammunition. Two men were down, but the team was not out. MIA RESCUE is the story of Team 5-2 and the heroic and ultimately successful attempts to rescue them despite extraordinarily bad weather and an angry and aware enemy. "Seldom can an author stimulate emotions, from the taste of fear to sweaty palms to the feeling of relief when the mission is over, but Jorgenson does and much more. If the reader was never in combat, he will feel like a Nam vet when he finishes this book." --Jerry Boyle Author of Apache Sunrise From the Paperback edition.