'Within the cacophony of voices trying to explain the recent financial crisis, Elena Esposito's voice sounds clear and deep. Steering away from simplistic condemnations and equally simplistic prescriptions for betterment, she connects the very invention of derivatives to that eternal human hope – of controlling the future. While the task is impossible, the attempts never stop, and the very process of attempting it brings some consolation. And while derivatives can be seen, claim sociologists of finance, as performative, that is shaping the future they promise to control, even this is far from certain. Esposito's fascinating and beautiful work is an important contribution to the sociology of finance, a subdiscipline of sociology that took on itself an extremely important task of explaining how the finance markets really work.'– Barbara Czarniawska, University of Gothenburg, Sweden'This is a brilliant and timely book that shows how financing is centrally implicated in the very unpredictability and uncertainty it purports to master. With the incisiveness characteristic of her style and writing, Esposito reads economics in innovative ways that disclose the hidden premises by which financial instruments trade and consume the prospects of the future.' – Jannis Kallinikos, London School of Economics, UK'Elena Esposito's analysis of financial markets and of their recent decline is radically different from the analyses which can be found in economic journals or books. Financial operations are reduced to their basic dimensions: time and money. Under this perspective, what is sold on financial markets is the possibility for the creation of commitments in the course of time, the possibility for the combination of these commitments with one another, and the identification of chances for the achievement of profit opportunities through the creation of specific combinations. The author argues that the recent crisis of the financial system was caused by oversimplified visions of the future and of risk leading to the consequence that options were not available in the present because all possibilities had been used up by the future. This oversimplified vision of the future imploded, and trust with it. The state tried to reconstruct options for the future in order to open up new possibilities and chances for learning. The author does not deliver recipes on how to prevent severe crises of the financial system in the future. Yet, her concept facilitates understanding of how financial futures are opened up or closed and thus provides insights into basic principles on whose basis future opportunities can be kept open and trust can be maintained. Innovative reforms of the financial system can only develop on the basis of unconventional analyses. Elena Esposito's book contains an analysis of this kind.'– Alfred Kieser, Mannheim University, Germany'Elena Esposito's book is a fundamental analysis of time in economics. With economic rigour underpinned by sociological reasoning, she explains the futures market more clearly than is possible with economic analysis alone. Economic concepts are considered in terms of time – actors deal in the present with future risks by transferring these risks to the present situation. As a result, we get more options and more risks at the same time: at present. No equilibrium will balance these trades because of the asymmetry of time: our actual decisions deal with our imagination of the future, that is, with the future of the present, but the results will be realized in the presence of the future – different modalities of time. The book is a sound reflection on modelling time in economic theory, a "must" for economists.'– Birger P. Priddat, Witten/Herdecke University, Germany'The Future of Futures is an original and intellectually provocative book which forces the reader to think. Esposito's essay fulfils two rather different functions. On the one hand, it brings new and persuasive arguments to bear against the erroneous thesis that the present financial crisis is merely due to human mistakes and to some specific government failures. On the other hand, the book suggests that only by reconsidering the role of time in the economy is it possible to make full sense of the crisis and to re-orient in a desired direction the future movements of money. It is a well-known fact that traditional economics has always adhered to a spatial conception of time, according to which time, like space, is perfectly reversible. Whence its inability both to understand how economies develop and to prescribe adequate policies. The author's proposal is to move steps ahead in the direction of an analysis of an economy in time, where both historical time and time as duration can find a place. Esposito's well-written, jargon-free book will capture the attention of anyone seriously interested in the future of our market systems.'– Stefano Zamagni, University of Bologna and Johns Hopkins University, Bologna Center, Italy This book reconstructs the dynamics of economics, beginning explicitly with the role and the relevance of time: money uses the future in order to generate present wealth. Financial markets sell and buy risk, thereby binding the future. Elena Esposito explains that complex risk management techniques of structured finance produce new and uncontrolled risks because they use a simplified idea of the future, failing to account for how the future reacts to attempts at controlling it. During the recent financial crisis, the future had already been used (through securitizations, derivatives and other tools) to the extent that we had many futures, but no open future available.
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.
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. This book summarizes and expands contributions of futurists to the envisioning power and well-being of humanity. Bell brings together futurist intellectual tools, describing and explaining not only the methods, but also the nature, concepts, theories, and exemplars of the field.Foundations of Futures Studies fulfills Bell's five main purposes for writing this two-volume effort: (1) to show that futures studies, like other fields from anthropology to zoology, exists as an identifiable sphere of intellectual activity; (2) to create a teaching instrument that can be used as a basic text for core courses in futures studies; (3) to futurize the thinking of specialists in other disciplines; (4) to contribute to the further development and improvement of futures studies; and (5) to provide tools to empower both ordinary people and leaders to act in ways that create better futures for themselves and their societies. Bell maintains that despite its sometimes doomsday rhetorical style and widespread use by special interests, futures studies offers hope for the future of humanity and concrete ways of realizing that hope in the real world of our everyday lives. It will appeal to all interested in futures studies, as well as sociologists, economists, political scientists, and historians.
Futures studies is a new field of inquiry involving systematic and explicit thinking about alternative futures. Wendell Bell's two-volume work Foundations of Futures Studies is widely acknowledged as the fundamental work on the subject. In Volume 2, Bell goes beyond possible and probable futures to the study of preferable futures. He shows that concern with ethics, morality, and human values follows directly from the futurist purposes of discovering or inventing, examining, and proposing desirable futures. He examines moral judgments as an inescapable aspect of all decision-making and conscious action, even in the everyday lives of ordinary people.Now available in paperback with a new preface from the author, Volume 2 of Foundations of Futures Studies moves beyond cultural relativism to critical evaluation. Bell compares depictions of the good society by utopian writers, describes objective methods of moral judgment, assesses religion and law as sources of what is morally right, documents the existence of universal human values, and shows that if human beings are to thrive in the global society of the future, some human values must be changed.
Based on 51 interviews with logistics CEOs, strategists, and scenario experts, Heiko A. von der Gracht shows that the logistics service industry draws a backward picture of scenario planning practices as compared to other industries.
As communities continue to undergo rapid demographic shifts that modify their composition, culture, and collective values, police departments serving those communities must evolve accordingly in order to remain effective. The Future of Policing: A Practical Guide for Police Managers and Leaders provides concrete instruction to agencies on how to promote successful policing by proceeding on a course informed by future trends and emerging community forces. Explores critical variables necessary for decision-making Designed for typical police departments with common structures, problems, and opportunities, this book offers a unique juxtaposition of real-life examples, futures research, emergent trends, and management implications. Each chapter provides a discussion of the professional literature, current and projected trends, and situations faced by agency executives and leaders. Through this multidimensional and contemporaneous approach, the book explores community and political variables crucial to the decision-making process. It describes methods that managers can employ to explore the future and prepare their agencies for possible, probable, and preferable trends and opportunities. Provides specific, concrete examples Drawn from the authors’ research, as well as their own instructional and practical experience in the policing profession, this volume goes beyond esoteric, theoretical analysis and instead provides practical and well-grounded strategies for those who aspire to become police managers or current managers wishing to improve their proficiency. Using futures research and methodologies as the foundation for the text, this volume prepares practitioners to meet the challenges of policing and police management in the 21st century.