Scenario planning with a sociological eye : augmenting the intuitive logics approach to understanding the future of Scotland and the UK

MacKay, R. Bradley and Stoyanova, Veselina (2016) Scenario planning with a sociological eye : augmenting the intuitive logics approach to understanding the future of Scotland and the UK. Technological Forecasting and Social Change. ISSN 0040-1625

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    Abstract

    This paper draws on a social theory-informed understanding of causality to illustrate how notions of agent–structure interactions can enhance the intuitive logics (IL) approach to scenario planning. It incorporates concepts such as the ‘subjective’ predispositions of agency, ‘objective’ structures of social systems, activity dependence, unintended consequences of action and event-time temporality in the IL method to augment causal analysis in the scenario development process. The paper illustrates the social theory-informed IL framework through its application to a scenario exercise undertaken in the lead-up to the Scottish referendum on independence from the United Kingdom on September 18th, 2014. The central thesis of the paper is that agent–structure interactions underpin the unfolding of futures in social systems by both constraining and enabling the range of possible futures that can emerge.