Ineffectiveness of individual participation in large communities
The size of the political community is so large today that its members are separated from its leaders simply by their number. Individuals have little effective voice in local government except when the units of local government are autonomous, self-governing, self-budgeting communities and are small enough to create the possibility of an immediate link between the man-in-the-street and his local officials and elected representatives. Government becomes invisible as it leaves the realm of most citizens' daily lives; popular referenda are infrequent and decisions are via political machinery and rules of expediency with little concern for the long-term interests of the individuals in the electorate.
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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