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Societal Collapse: A Literature Review
University of Skövde, School of Business. University of Skövde, Organising for Sustainable Development Research Environment. (Knowledge, Innovation and Marketing (KIM))ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9579-3266
2022 (English)In: Futures: The journal of policy, planning and futures studies, ISSN 0016-3287, E-ISSN 1873-6378, Vol. 145, article id 103075Article, review/survey (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Because of concerns that ongoing climate change could lead to a possible collapse of human civilization, the topic of societal (civilization) collapse has emerged as especially relevant, not least for the futures-oriented studies. While this has led to extensive research on societal collapse, there is a lack of consolidation and synthesis of the research. The purpose of this article is thus to systematize the extant research on societal collapse and suggest future research directions. This article offers a systematic multidisciplinary review of the existing literature (361 articles and 73 books) and identifies five scholarly conversations: past collapses, general explanations of collapse, alternatives to collapse, fictional collapses, and future climate change and societal collapse. The review builds the foundation for a critical discussion of each line of inquiry by focusing on theoretical tensions and themes within each scholarly conversation, ending with a discussion of how these conversations inform futures research.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2022. Vol. 145, article id 103075
Keywords [en]
societal collapse, civilization collapse, collapse, climate change, sustainability, literature review
National Category
History of Ideas Specific Literatures Social Sciences Interdisciplinary Human Geography
Research subject
Knowledge and Innovation Management (KIM)
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:his:diva-22101DOI: 10.1016/j.futures.2022.103075ISI: 000975693200001Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85145556369OAI: oai:DiVA.org:his-22101DiVA, id: diva2:1715495
Note

CC BY 4.0

Available online 2 December 2022, 103075

Acknowledgments: The author expresses his kindest gratitude to the three anonymous reviewers for providing detailed expert insights and feedback that helped to improve the article. The author also wishes to thank Krister Johannesson from the University of Skövde Library for his invaluable help and assistance with the bibliometric analysis.

Available from: 2022-12-02 Created: 2022-12-02 Last updated: 2023-05-22Bibliographically approved

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Brozović, Danilo

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