The NPW framework in future-oriented studies of cultural agency
The network of possible worlds, or NPW for short, offers a theoretical framework where cultural agency can be systematically linked with such central concepts of future-oriented studies as future path, scenario, actor, vision, trend, weak signal, future awareness and foresight development. Time is embedded in a NPW in two ways: the NPW itself is temporally structured, and the actors navigating within the NPW are equipped with cognitive models of time. The framework can be applied not only in the study of theoretical and empirical aspects of cultural agency, but also in the political management of human societies, including the forecasting of religious and ethnic dynamics. It provides tools for capturing the special characteristics of cultural agency. Therefore, it is an essential tool in understanding the religious and ethnic futures of Europe.