The four scenarios produced by the Horizon 2020 IMAJINE project to explore the future of European regional inequality have now been published.
The scenarios explore questions of territorial equality – Do EU citizens have equal rights and opportunities regardless of wherever they live? – and spatial justice – Are different places treated fairly? Is your ability to realise your rights compromised by where you live?
Questions of justice are defined socially and narratively – even when a court says it is considering “the balance of probabilities”, it adjudicates between competing stories told by the parties arguing a case. That means we can’t just run the numbers when it comes to the future of inequality, but must explore how notions of fairness and justice might change in times to come – and what those changing notions might tell us about issues in the present.
As Ursula K. Le Guin put it in the quote we chose for IMAJINE’s epigraph, “We will not know our own injustice if we cannot imagine justice. We will not be free if we do not imagine freedom.”
Each vision of Europe in 2048 offers a different perspective on these issues as they are emerging in the present, and offers an opportunity to reframe the discussion around regional development and inequality. The scenario set includes respondents from a wide range of sectors and institutions around the world, offering further insight into the implications of each scenario.
You can download the IMAJINE scenario document as a PDF from the project website – and there’ll be further updates and expert responses at the IMAJINE homepage as the scenarios are rolled out over the coming months.