The Causal Layered Analysis (CLA) Reader:
Theory and Case Studies of an Integrative and Transformative
Edited by Sohail Inayatullah
Tapei, Tamkang University Press, December 2004. Available from
February 9, 2005.
Johan Galtung, Michael Shapiro, Zia Sardar
Richard Slaughter, David Turnbull, Patricia Kelly, Marcus Bussey,
Phil Graham, Leigh Canny, Dennis List, Alan Fricker, Ivana Milojevic,
Sanne Tikjoeb, Paul Wildman, Jennifer Gidley, Christopher Jones,
Murray May, Stuart Hill, James White, Phillip Daffara, Marcus
Anthony, Serafino De Simone, Jose Ramos and Colin Russo
As a new theory and method, Causal Layered
Seeks to integrate empiricist, interpretive,
critical and action learning modes of knowing
Unpacks conventional futures
develops more effective policy
Creates transformative spaces
Systematically allows for the inclusion of
the perspectives of stakeholders, and the ideologies they hold
Can be used as textual critique or in
Consists of multiple levels (the litany,
systems, worldview and myth/metaphor)
Begins and ends with questioning
The book is divided into five parts.
Part 1 – Introduction to the Reader:
theoretical, methodological context and case studies.
Part 2 – Methodological comparisons
Part 3 – Case Studies including genetic
engineering, poverty, sustainability, racism, globalization,
education, pedagogy for engineers, teaching futures, aviation,
global media, Japan, City futures, technocracy and integrated
Part 4 – As an evolving methodology, including
chapters on the cookbook approach, deep participation and action
Part 5 – Appendices to help in the research and
action learning process.
How to order
this book today in our
If you wish to contact the author please write to: Sohail Inayatullah, 29 Meta Street, Mooloolaba,
4557, Queensland, Australia
Comments on CLA
Inayatullah's Causal Layered Analysis is
the first major new futures theory and method since Delphi, almost
forty years ago. CLA is a very sophisticated way to categorize
different views of and concerns about the futures, and then to use
them to help groups think about the futures far more effectively
than they could by using any one of the layers alone, as most
Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Hawaii
Another masterwork: Sohail Inayatullah draws from
scholarship of rare breadth and depth, yet communicates with simple
clarity. In this book, his informed choice of authors and topics
has again created a collection that makes a significant contribution
world's wisdom as we face turbulent and uncertain futures.
Jan Lee Martin, Founding Director, The Futures Foundation
It is a given in futures work
that we challenge the assumptions; CLA is a great system for making
differing assumptions transparent at the worldview and myth level.
We are all indebted to
Inayatullah for conceiving CLA and working to help the rest of
us understand it.
Marsha L. Rhea, CAE, Senior Futurist, Institute for Alternative
CLA is an exceptionally valuable tool.
Jennifer Brice, GM, Fuji Xerox
CLA is one of the most powerful
methodologies available to the contemporary foresight practitioner.
Dr Joseph Voros,
Australian Foresight Institute, Melbourne, Australia
Graham Molitor, President, Public Policy
Forecasting and Vice-president, World Future Society
CLA is one of
the most exciting and useful foresight methods that has been added
to the futures field 'toolbox' in recent times. It is an integrated
method that works well in group processes and has the added
advantage of getting groups to a 'depth' understanding of problems
and issues in a comparatively quick time. At the same time it is a
method that breaks the rigidity of 'rational' thinking and is a
powerful mechanism for generating ideas for alternative futures.
Peter Hayward. Swinburne University, Melbourne,
A cornerstone of Futures Methodology
Peter Bishop, Associate Professor of Human
Sciences and Chair, Graduate Program
in Studies of the Future,University of Houston-Clear Lake,
It is a very useful method to explore
possibilities from different dimensions and I find that it can be
used with little help even by the first time students
Ryota Ono, Professor, Aichi University, Japan
CLA was one of
the most powerful methods we used during our workshops. The method
quickly highlighted participants' very different worldviews, myths
and metaphors and this was a key learning from the workshop. And
it did not finish with the workshops . For example, one participant
has used the method at home to help her try to understand her
teenagers – why they do what they do - and for her to develop more
effective reactions to her children's actions.
Principal Research Scientist, Australian Government Department.
CLA offers a
way to create new and useful visions of the future by challenging
assumptions, probing causes for change, and understanding the
structural assumptions and myths that often constrain our thinking.
New horizons open when these boundaries are identified, understood
and questioned. In short CLA is a liberating method that forces us
to ask why we think about the future as we do.
Gordon, AC/UNU/Millennium Project
Analysis is a gift to all New Millennium researchers. CLA is cutting
edge, interior, in depth and simple to master. Using CLA leads us
toward a richer understanding of the underpinnings of social
problems and our response through social innovation. Applying CLA as
a research tool transforms understanding and yields rich data about
the world in which we live. I' ve especially found using the CLA
methodology useful in my Community Futures practice.
Sociologist, Community Futures, Colorado Springs, Colorado
CLA is a
conceptually elegant, simple and effective method in obtaining
greater breath and depth of inquiry, research on the nature of the
past, present and future issues. A key benefit of layered analysis
is that it enables multiple access, equity and expression when
framing our views. Thus through the creation of a richer analysis,
participants are able to develop new ways of thinking, knowing and
solutions generation. To learn, know and use CLA has become a
powerful way to transform myself, others and organisations
Australian Local Government
Business is at a critical
crossroad between going down the path of losing meaning and purpose
or reestablishing a new worldview based on humanity, sustainability
and equity. The power of a great many organisations today exceeds
many, if not most , nations. This provides an opportunity for a
deeper worldview that Sohail Inayatullah's CLA layered approach can
bring into reality. As a leading business school Mt Eliza Business
School is proud of its association with Professor Inayatullah and of
its part in creating the preferred future that his CLA methodology
Dr Robert Burke,
Program Director, Mt Eliza Business School.
CLA has given
our policy developers and program planners an invigorating and
robust framework for a breadth and depth of analysis previously
inaccessible. CLA is an extraordinarily inclusive and versatile
tool - enabling a wide range of sometimes preciously held views to
be placed 'on the table', made explicit and navigable. The CLA tool
is empowering our staff, giving them a 'way through' in dealing
with complexity especially relevant in a large local government with
a broad policy agenda.
Bartlett, Strategic Planning and Policy, Australian Local Government
CLA is an
important and exceedingly useful theory and foundational method for
including the views of other cultures in thinking about the future.
Dr. Kuo-Hua Chen, Director and Associate Professor, Graduate
Institute of Futures Studies, Tamkang University, Taiwan
CLA is a
simple, elegant method that challenges people to step away from our
tendency to default to the box, to confront our blinders, to bring
into play innovative thinking and to engage in fundamental debates
about the future.
Kate Delaney, Futurist, Delaney& Associates
Pty Ltd, APS Futures Forum Steering Committee, NZ Local Government
weight babies, obesity in children, depression among teens, violence
against women, re-emerging infectious diseases, health inequalities…
this is an edited list of today’s complex public health challenges.
What will tomorrow’s look like? CLA offers researchers and
practitioners in public health an innovative tool for delving into
the connectedness of these problems, and to stimulate insights into
how to bring about change at the deepest levels.
Sally Fawkes, School of Public Health, La
Deftly conceived and written aqualung
allowing trips to the deep and back in comfort.
Cartmel, CEO, Technical Manual Solutions
Establishing a Valid Consultation Focus with
Click Here to
Download Colin Russo's diagram/poster showing the application of CLA
to government consultation projects.