Governing uncertainty, producing subjectivity: from Mode I to Mode II scenarios

Limor Smimian-Darash*, Michael Rabi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Tracing the emergence of the scenario technology and key shifts in how it is used, we argue that scenarios represent a new way of governing future uncertainty. We analyse two of the most influential approaches to the technology—those of Herman Kahn and Pierre Wack. In the first, scenarios emerge as a solution to an ontological problem of future uncertainty—a solution that seeks to use imagination as a form of reasoning about the future (Mode I scenarios). In the second, however, scenarios appear as a solution to an epistemological problem—a way of challenging and changing perceptions, of remediating one’s perception of the world and accepting its uncertainty. That is, scenarios become a way of entering into an uncertain sensibility and a particular mode of experience and practice related to and centred on uncertainty—a new mode of subjectivation. We refer to this as Mode II scenarios.

Original languageAmerican English
JournalSubjectivity
Volume14
Issue number1-2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Limited.

Keywords

  • Governmentality
  • Scenarios
  • Subjectivity
  • Uncertainty

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