Undisclosed control of national economies by limited number of individuals
Disproportionate influence of some individuals on national policy-making
It is possible for a limited number of wealthy individuals to make use of networks of holding companies, family ties and other special relationships in order to maintain effective control over the major corporations and decision-making centres of a national economy. The individuals related in this way may be in government, military and banking positions as well as in public or private corporations. Because of corporation secrecy on these matters, it is very difficult to determine the extent of such control and to hold the controllers responsible for policies which they attempt to implement to the disadvantage of those outside their privileged circle.
It has been claimed that only 100 people are behind most economic decisions taken in France, that four companies decide the industrial development of Italy, and that three inter-related families virtually control the economy of Belgium.
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.
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