The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a collaboration between UIA and Mankind 2000, started in 1972. It is the result of an ambitious effort to collect and present information on the problems with which humanity is confronted, as well as the challenges such problems pose to concept formation, values and development strategies. Problems included are those identified in international periodicals but especially in the documents of some 60,000 international non-profit organizations, profiled in the Yearbook of International Organizations.
The Encyclopedia includes problems which such groups choose to perceive and act upon, whether or not their existence is denied by others claiming greater expertise. Indeed such claims and counter-claims figure in many of the problem descriptions in order to reflect the often paralyzing dynamics of international debate. In the light of the interdependence demonstrated among world problems in every sector, emphasis is placed on the need for approaches which are sufficiently complex to encompass the factions, conflicts and rival worldviews that undermine collective initiative towards a promising future.
In a psychological sense, aggression refers to any manifestation of a self-assertive disposition. There is still considerable dispute as to whether it is simply a response to adverse external circumstances. It is nevertheless becoming increasingly apparent that particular styles of aggression relate to particular social contexts and roles and are thus culturally patterned.
In a political sense, aggression refers to any manifestation of an expansive policy; in a military sense to an unprovoked military attack; and in a legal sense to the use of armed force by a government in violation of an obligation under international law or treaty. In the last sense, the term has appeared in numerous treaties and official declarations since World War I, including the [League of Nations Covenant] and the [United Nations Charter]. In 1933, the signatories of the [Convention for the Definition of Aggression] agreed to define the aggressor in an international conflict as that state which is the first to commit any of the following actions: (a) declaration of war upon another state; (b) invasion by its armed forces, with or without a declaration of war, of the territory of another state; (c) attack by its land, naval, or air forces, with or without a declaration of war, on the territory, vessels, or aircraft of another state; (d) naval blockade of coasts or ports of another state; (e) provision of support to armed bands formed on its territory which have invaded the territory of another state, or refusal, notwithstanding the request of the invaded state, to take on its own territory all the measures in its power to deprive those bands of all assistance or protection. Furthermore, it was stipulated that no political, military, economic, or other considerations could serve as an excuse or justification for such acts of aggression.
One important difference between conventional crime and acts involving abuses of power is that many of the latter are committed under the guise of legitimacy. Concentration camps are justified by the need to protect internal security. Police abuse of power is legitimized as necessary to combat crime, to fight 'evil' with force. Extra-judicial executions are portrayed as acts of self-defence. The use of 'dirty tricks', undemocratic or outright illegal means, the overt or covert violations of civil liberties are thus rationalized and presented to an unsuspecting or an uninformed public as necessary and legitimate.