Theories of global collapse: closing down or opening up the futures?


In this essay, we fi rst ask what kind of rhetorical styles the theories of global collapse have when talking about futures. We claim that these theories manifest in one of three forms: prospecti ve, prophecy, and science-fi cti on. We then ask if such theories tend to close down or rather open up the space of possible futures. While some observers have argued that they reduce the trajectories of human development to a unique catastrophic one, we will show that they actually give rise to a number of alternative imaginaries for the post-capitalist and post-oil era.

Accepted in Journal of Futures Studies