A European Journal of Futures Research
This new scientific journal aims at enriching the publication landscape for futures research by adding a “European” dimension to it: focussing on European manifestations of futures research, topics related to Europe’s present and future as well as discussions about the perspectives of European thinking and the integration of Europe.
While established scientific journals such as Foresight, Futures, The International Journal of Foresight and Innovation Policy, The Journal of Futures Studies, Technological Forecasting and Social Change: An International Journal and The International Journal of Forecasting emphasise the international character of the medium in question, the European Journal of Futures Research concentrates on topics and problems that are of extreme significance for Europe.
The main focus therefore is on the geographical region of Europe, where local developments are obviously embedded in global contexts. This special focus enables an intensive, theoretical and methodical analysis of the European traditions of thought in futures research as well as the empirical precision of Europe-related problems. A variety of topics that are relevant for Europe can be discussed within the framework of the contents of the journal (Society, Politics, Economy, Science and Technology, X-cutting Issues, Methodology and Methods, Philosophy of Science).Footnote 1 Theoretical and methodological topics can be approached from particular “European” schools of thought or enriched with other, new ways of thinking.
In our opinion, it is necessary to promote a futures research specific to Europe as the European states today stand before common challenges, not least because of their shared and often conflicting past. The future in and of Europe will be determined by how these challenges can be overcome.
The European Journal of Futures Research (EJFR) provides a platform where the possible, desirable, plausible and probable futures of Europe can be thought of ahead of time and shaped simultaneously. This fundamental orientation of the journal should be reflected in the submitted articles. Thus, for publication in the EJFR, we prefer articles that
Present local and national developments in a European context,
Examine the various dimensions of Europe,
Present European developments in the context of global developments,
Deal with political topics related to Europe and the development of the European Union or
Present comparative studies about the European issues.
Let us take the example of “Politics”: After the destruction and annihilation caused by the Second World War, the process of unification of Europe was started as a project with the primary intention of bringing lasting peace and, consequently, welfare improvement. The achievements in this direction were acknowledged in 2012 with the Nobel Peace Prize for the European Union—at a time when the Union faced huge financial, debt and euro crises. This discrepancy in the current European situation raises questions about the problems in the process so far and in the present state of European integration, for example with reference to coordination between various economic, legal and political dimensions—as well as about the future perspectives of Europe. Among other things, the internal cohesion and diversity of Europe, the democratic state of European institutions, the territorial expansion of the European Union and the Eurozone, the relationship between politics and the financial markets, and the future role of Europe in the global context are at stake here.
Since the discussions and decisions within the European Union build the framework for national and local developments, which then affect the whole of Europe, it is also important to deal with them in the context of the journal. The continuing (diagnoses of) crises, which could have a negative impact on the accomplishment of the core targets of the community, also necessitate a closer look at the European Union.
To answer the question of how to shape European futures, we suggest taking a look at the multifaceted manifestations of the (European) futures research and the social and strategic planning traditions in more detail. What catches the eye is the close connection between the scientific analyses of future-related questions, policy planning and future-oriented management consulting. This throws up the question to what extent clear demarcations between these manifestations are necessary, a question which is discussed further down below.