Continuity, contingency and context : Bringing the historian's cognitive toolkit into university futures and public policy development
This paper explores the affinities between the cognitive approaches of historical study and those of strategic foresight, specifically, scenario planning, drawing out their capacity to problematise perceived certainties and challenge deterministic beliefs. It suggests that " thinking with history" has the potential to enhance strategic understanding and decision-making. Two high-level decision-making contexts - university executives and Government Departments - are then discussed with regards to the barriers to such strategic thinking. The paper draws on a wider research project exploring the role for historical thinking in public policy development.