A plural society contains diverse cultural and ethnic elements, which may lead to conflict. Most countries are faced with such societies. This may arise from an arbitrary definition of the national boundaries to include two or more ethnic groups, or as a result of colonization or of immigration. Adverse effects are aggravated by discrimination, segregation, exploitation, racism, elitism and a lack of appreciation of cultural differences, leading to disparities and lack of integration. Although assimilation is one answer to the adverse effects of a plural society, it also sows the seeds of discontent. A successful balance in the integration of national and ethnic characteristics has yet to be found.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a unique, experimental research work of the Union of International Associations. It is currently published as a searchable online platform with profiles of world problems, action strategies, and human values that are interlinked in novel and innovative ways. These connections are based on a range of relationships such as broader and narrower scope, aggravation, relatedness and more. By concentrating on these links and relationships, the Encyclopedia is uniquely positioned to bring focus to the complex and expansive sphere of global issues and their interconnected nature.
The initial content for the Encyclopedia was seeded from UIA’s Yearbook of International Organizations. UIA’s decades of collected data on the enormous variety of association life provided a broad initial perspective on the myriad problems of humanity. Recognizing that international associations are generally confronting world problems and developing action strategies based on particular values, the initial content was based on the descriptions, aims, titles and profiles of international associations.
Non-profit, apolitical, independent, and non-governmental in nature, the UIA has been a pioneer in the research, monitoring and provision of information on international organizations, international associations and their global challenges since 1907.