Groups of citizens, armed or unarmed, may initiate violent actions with the intent to demonstrate their opinion or position, to destroy or sequester property, to prevent the actions of certain persons, or to injure or kill others. Included in civil violence, therefore are: civil disobedience of certain types such as illegal sit-ins; certain kinds of actions which are illegal in labour disputes (on both sides), as well as in labour disputes with government; riots; organized terrorism; insurrection; and (taking citizenry not to exclude illegal militia) and vigilantism. The objectives of civil violence are frequently economic and political change, but may also be focused on religious, minority or other issues. The term 'civil violence' may be loosely applied to wartime conditions in a country not officially at war, where both legal and illegal militia are engaged.
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.
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.