Call for Papers: Special Issue in FUTURES

FUTURES, The journal of policy, planning and futures studies

Constructing Social Futures

This call for papers reflects the theme of the 2019 Turku conference: ‘Constructing Social Futures – sustainability, responsibility and power’, which focused on the concept of agency in action and research for futures.  ‘Constructing Futures’ emphasizes opportunities and challenges related to the need for building and critically evaluating capabilities necessary for sustainable futures.  In what ways is agency manifest in different levels and contexts? Whether in a private commercial context, or in civil society, or in global or local communities, to what extent are futures being constructed through participation that reflects moral agency and leads to better futures for all? Can Futures Studies, as an applied practice, make a difference?

Call for papers – topics of interest

With this forthcoming special issue of Futures we want to explore how to deal with the concept of agency in action and research for futures. We particularly invite contributions that link to topics such as:

  • New forms of participative democracy and their consequences (incl. AI, Digital empowerment)
  • Citizen science, power, responsibility and foresight
  • Specific social futures (case studies on welfare, human relations, work, lifestyles)
  • Foresight activities and their effect on sustainability transitions
  • Combining corporate foresight with corporate social responsibility
  • Advances in participatory methods in futures studies
  • The heterogeneity of actors and the many levels of analysis in social futures
  • Futures studies in the empowerment of agency
  • The roles of futures studies in the negotiation of values and desired futures
  • Gender perspectives in futures studies


Papers should follow the standard guidelines of Futures Journal. Only original submissions will be considered, not submitted in parallel elsewhere. Guide for Authors in Futures:

Manuscripts of around 8,000 words should be submitted online through the Elsevier submission system.

Further information can be found on the online version of this call once published.  When uploading your submission at chose the ‘article type’ as related to the special issue ‘VSI: Constructing Futures’ (full paper)

If you are unfamiliar with this system, please read Frequently Asked Question on that page before commencing the upload process.

Manuscripts for publication (8 to 10 papers) will be selected competitively according to their intrinsic quality and relevance to the special issue. All selected papers will be refereed through a double-blind peer review process.

Important dates

Call for Paper issued: October 2019

Submission of manuscripts:  from October until December 15th 2019

Review process from October 2019

Accepted papers published online, with a Digital Object Identifier (doi) soon after acceptance. Expected publication of full special issue by June 2020.

Special issue guest editors

Katriina Siivonen
Tuomas Kuhmonen
Riikka Saarimaa
University of Turku, Finland Futures Research Centre.

Contact details: Riikka Saarimaa,