Currency overvaluations and undervaluations have appeared repeatedly under the postwar regimes of both fixed and flexible exchange rates; have tended to grow rather than diminish; and may well reappear periodically even if the current regime is substantially reformed. Floating exchange rates tend to be accompanied by massive capital flows, resulting in large currency misalignments. These produce new protectionist measures in countries with overvalued currencies. In contrast to the initial assumptions of the Bretton Woods system, monetary flows have now come to determine trade flows rather than vice versa, and thus a country can find itself with a currency whose value in no way reflects its ability to compete in international trade, thus further exacerbating the uncertainty in the trading system and adding to the pressures for further protection.
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.