Ambiguous social identity Crisis of personal identity
Contemporary concerns such as bilingualism, religious education, homosexuality in the military, interracial adoption, politically correct body language, blasphemy, immigration, divorce or unmarried mothers reflect new challenges to identity. These correspond to tensions between libertarians concerned with individual rights, choice, freedom and enterprise, and cultural conservatives emphasizing group rights, traditional authority, family values and religion.
The old polarities between allegiances based on class solidarity and state planning, or those based on property rights, individual opportunity and markets, have now broken down. New divisions are centred on the ways in which people define their identity. People have a deep need to identity and belong which is unsatisfied by the traditional pattern of institutions and beliefs.
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.