Insecure people Individual socio-economic insecurity
On top of rising unemployment is the growth of early retirement, "contracting out" and part-time work, which together have exposed millions to the vagaries of an ever-fluctuating labour market, robbed of pension rights, minimum income, sick pay and social security. There is a pervasive sense of insecurity not felt since the end of the 1940s -- a general feeling that the environment beyond is hostile. Education, hospitals and the welfare system clearly in decline; the enfeebling fear of illness with Aids and the re-emergence of tuberculosis and other scarcely remembered diseases; old age pensions cut; the homeless and the have-nots becoming more conspicuous; the economy cavorting as if in the hands of the sorcerer's apprentice; the state decaying; all adding to uncertainty and the foreboding of doom.
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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