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Hardcover | Out of Print | ISBN: 9780262032940 | 289 pp. | 6 x 9 in | 7 illus.| January 2002
Paperback | $4.75 Trade | £3.99 | ISBN: 9780262532044 | 289 pp. | 6 x 9 in | 7 illus.| February 2003

What the Future Holds

Insights from Social Science

Overview

Predicting the future is notoriously difficult. But systematic analysis leads to clearer understanding and wiser decisions. Thinking about the future also makes social scientists focus their research into the past and present more fruitfully, with more attention to key predictors of change.This book considers how we might think intelligently about the future. Taking different methodological approaches, well-known specialists forecast likely future developments and trends in human life. The questions they address include: How many humans will there be? Will there be enough energy? How will climate change affect our lives? What patterns of work will exist? How will government work at the local, national, and world level? Will inflation remain under control? Why have past forecasts been so bad? The book concludes with a discussion of the intellectual and historical context of futurology and a look at the accuracy of predictions that were made for the year 2000.

About the Editors

Richard N. Cooper is Maurits C. Boas Professor of International Economics at Harvard University.

Richard Layard is Director of the Centre for Economic Performance at the London School of Economics.

Reviews

“"There are valuable lessons here." Graham May New Scientist”—
“"...[This book] serves a useful purpose by stimulating human responses to avoid possible disasters." Foreign Affairs”—
“"...[This book]serves a useful purpose by stimulating human responses to avoid possible disasters." Foreign Affairs”—

Endorsements

“"Can the information revolution really knit the globe together? Or will developing countries be left behind in an ever-widening digital divide? If these vital questions interest you, Ernest Wilson's book is critical reading."--Joseph S. Nye, Jr., Dean, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University”
“"Everyone is talking about our increased vulnerability to information warfare. Gregory J. Rattray puts this danger in an analytic and historical context that tells us what we can and should do about it."--Joseph S. Nye, Jr., Dean, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University”
“"This book demands close reading. The editors have selected important, insightful essays."--Thomas C. Schelling, Distinguished University Professor, University of Maryland”
“"Predicting the future is impossible. Surprise is inevitable, yet we cannot plan our lives without predictions. This book provides an essential understanding of both the limits and the disciplines that we need to face the future more effectively."--Joseph S. Nye, Jr., Dean, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University”
“"How do we look in the eyes of others? After 9/11, the question is more crucial than ever, and What Does the World Want from America has assembled an interesting set of answers."--Joseph S. Nye, Jr., Dean, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University”
“"America needs both our hard military power and our soft power-the power to attract rather than coerce. This book is a very good place to start exploring the realities of both."--Joseph S. Nye, Jr., Dean, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University”