The future of the Western world: the OECD and the Interfutures project
Journal of Global History
GB : Cambridge University Press
126 - 144 p.
In 1975, the OECD created a research committee entitled ‘Interfutures. Research project into the development of the advanced industrial societies in harmony with the developing world’. The purpose of Interfutures was to examine how the new tools of futures research could be put to use in order to shape strategies for dealing with a new phenomenon of ‘interdependence’, and to set out a ‘long-term vision’ of the Western world. This article argues that Interfutures was appointed in order to draft an alternative image of the future to two radical visions of the early 1970s. The first was the so-called New International Economic Order. The second was the 1972 Club of Rome report, The limits to growth. As a response to these two visions, Interfutures presented a vision of globalization as a process oriented around an expanding world market, piloted by Western interests and continued resource extraction.