Does it matter? Fully-fledged vs. Embeded Foresight

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From an abstract, somewhat rigid methodological standpoint one might argue that ‘pure’ (fully-fledged) foresight programmes should not be compromised; i.e. should not be ‘downgraded’ in order to tailor the methods to meet practical requirements, or important elements should not be ‘stripped off’ because of resource constraints.

An opposite, more pragmatic approach could equally forcefully claim that it is better to embed some foresight-like activities into an actual decision-preparatory process than aiming at ‘perfect’ processes – but with low chances of implementation. Three inter-related reasons might be thought of to support this claim. First, foresight-like activities are likely to yield better informed policy recommendations (compared to those instances where none of these methods are applied). Second, given the embeddedness into an actual decision-preparatory process, there might be higher chances to implement these recommendations. Third, in case a sufficient level of participation and ‘joint ownership’ of recommendations, the prospects of implementation would be even more promising.

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