Dependency in individuals relates to inability to make decisions, and the inclination to rely on others to initiate or lead in behaviour, while requiring them to be supportive, either materially, psychologically or emotionally. Dependency is normal for a child, and in some measure is normal for the infirm and elderly. In adults, dependent behaviour may prevent the development of full individuality. Dependent nations exhibit all of the foregoing traits. In addition, the well-known compensating psychology of dependence emerges among the pendant nations, that is, very demanding, very critical and accusative behaviour.
Dependence, like dominance, is a fact of life in world affairs. The absence of a "contract" prevents effective symbiosis, with responsiveness and sensitivity on the part of the dominant and responsibility and honour on the part of the subordinate. A muted tension exists between local and national governments; in the USA and the USSR between the governments of states and autonomous regions and Washington or Moscow; and childish reactions of weaker to stronger nations may be cited in the attitude of some western European nations to the military might of the USA, of Commonwealth countries towards the UK, and the previous French colonies and territories towards France.
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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