Communication in futures studies: a discursive analysis of the literature

Elizabeth Hofvenschioeld*, Masood Khodadadi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
7 Downloads (Pure)


Communication is recognised as an essential part of futures work and yet research on the topic appears to be sporadic. This paper presents the results of a comprehensive literature review on communication in futures studies and offers four contributions to the field. Firstly, as no known overview of literature on communication within futures studies was found, an extensive literature review was carried out to assess and understand the current state of research on communication within the futures field. Secondly, after the identified publications were analysed using a Foucauldian-inspired discourse analysis, six general discourses are proposed. Based on these discourses, a preliminary taxonomy of the literature is developed, which acts as a framework to support a general understanding of the work done on communication in the futures field. The third contribution is a recommendation for the definition of communication in futures studies, which is based on the literature review results and communication theory. And lastly, based on the framework, areas that have little or no published work are highlighted and constructive suggestions are given for further research.
Original languageEnglish
Article number102493
Early online date28 Nov 2019
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jan 2020


  • Futures
  • Communication
  • Foucault
  • Discourse analysis
  • Narrative


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