Integrating cultural systems Embodying sociological word Standardizing cultural expectations
There are two trends in modern cultural life which seem to act in opposite directions, namely the globalization of the economy and the rise of sectarian thinking -- whether expressed on the basis of race, religion or nationality. One has the potential to create a world of homogenous consumption, a world which is united through the medium of a completely uniform commericalized culture. The other would preserve diversity through the creation of rigid lines of demarcation between 'them' and 'us', lines whose crossing would not be tolerated. What these two competing visions have in common is that neither acknowledges the full richness of the realtionship which human beings are able to create and to recreate anew with each other and with their environment.
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.