Unmasking scenario planning: The colonization of the future in the ‘Local Governments of the Future’ program

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In the Netherlands, the ‘Local Governments of the Future’ program has been introduced by the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations in 2014, in the context of the ongoing transformation of the Dutch welfare state; more specifically, the transformation of the social care sector. Scenario planning is a major preoccupation in this program and two major reports have been published in this connection. In this article, the authenticity of the scenario planning of the ‘Local Governments of the Future’ program is questioned. It is found that the ‘Local Governments of the Future’ program’s scenario planning is not a real scenario planning but, instead, a continuation of the neoliberal discourse by hegemonic stakeholders that seek to ‘close’ the future. It is concluded in this article that in the ‘Local Governments of the Future’ program the future is colonized and presented as an impersonal trend in which governmental agency for creatively negating and transcending the neoliberal discourse is irrelevant.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)80-88
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2017


  • Colonization
  • Dialectic
  • Ideology
  • Power
  • Reification
  • Scenario planning
  • 2023 OA procedure

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