Encyclopedia of World Problems - Archived Information

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3.7 Relationships to other sections and databases

In addition to the relationships between strategies (see previous Note 3.6), individual strategies may also refer to entries in other Encyclopedia sections or UIA databases.

1. General method of relationship

The use of keywords is very useful in the process of identifying cross-relationships. Keywords in the title(s) of strategies are systematically indexed at the time an entry is created and whenever it is subsequently edited (Note 3.5). At any time, therefore, strategies can be accessed via word, via specific subject category, via subject group, or via various Boolean combinations of these elements. The same keywords will access "problems" entries, "organizations" or other of the UIA databases on the same basis. This makes it possible to very quickly access entries in different databases which correspond to the same keyword(s), subject group, etc. These entries may be directly cross-related or, if an obvious relationship is not evident, their internal cross-relationships may be examined to establish any more appropriate cross-relationships.

2. Relationships to problems

Where it has been possible to do so, strategy entries specifically cross-reference problems in the Encyclopedia (Section P, Volume 1). At the time of this printing, the entries in the strategies database have 21,599 cross-references to world problems, of which 11,285 are contained within the descriptive entries printed in this volume.

In addition to using general indexing procedures (see point 1.) to match strategies and problems, another computer-assisted method was employed. An experimental procedure generated new strategy names directly from problem names (Note 3.8). Approximately 15,000 strategy entries, with single or multiple problem cross-references, were created in this way. Most of these entries, containing over 10,000 problem cross references, remain in provisional strategy sections and are not printed in this volume. However, a considerable number, together with their problem cross-relationships, did find text and/or significant cross-relationships to other strategies and were upgraded into published sections (SB-SF). Other strategies created in this manner were also found to be duplicates of existing strategies. In these cases the contents of both entries were combined, including the problem cross-references.

It is important to note that a link between a strategy and a problem may imply one of several relationships:

  • the problem and strategy are very closely related (eg within the same subject area or specific region)
  • the strategy attempts to remedy the problem cited
  • the problem hinders implementation of the strategy
  • the problem is produced by the strategy or dependent upon it
  • the problem is present because of the absence or imperfect operation of the strategy.
3. Relationships to international organizations

It has been the continuing ambition of the UIA's programme to specifically cross-relate international organizations with strategies they are concerned with. Achieving this in a systematic manner continues to be beyond the available editorial resources. (An experiment with computer-assisted linkages between strategies and organizations is described in Note 3.8.) A principal reason for the overwhelming dimensions of such an exercise is the need to scrupulously investigate the documents of international bodies. Many interesting strategies are only briefly mentioned in passing; it is often not clear that the organization is actively "concerned" with them. Some strategies are evident only by allusion or by reading between the lines. On the other hand, many international organizations claim to be concerned with the more fashionable strategies.

In this volume, 6,941 indicative links have been established to international organizations as a first step in clarifying organization-strategy relationships. A further 4,918 links are present in strategies not printed in this volume; most were generated with computer assistance (see Note 3.8) and are in need of further consideration. A basic issue is whether such links should be made from the

organization to broader strategies or also to narrower strategies.

4. Relationships to bibliographic sources

There are 4,659 bibliographic cross-references in this strategies database at the time of printing. These have been inserted to:

  • support or amplify descriptions in the entry;
  • to compensate for the absence of descriptive material in inadequately worked entries;
  • to "prove" the existence of a strategy;
  • to point to additional information on the subject area of the strategy; or
  • in a special use of bibliographic citations for this strategy volume, a referred publication may itself be an example of a strategy, eg a published "state of environment" report may be cross-referenced within the strategy "Providing environmental information".
It should be noted in relation to bibliographic cross-references that they are not citations in the conventional sense. Although statements used in building up strategy descriptions are, in almost every case, very closely based on existing published documents, no explicit link is shown between the statements and their source documents.

Direct bibliographic citation has been avoided for several reasons:

  • Resources which permitted strategy statements to be located, did not necessarily permit the location of the best document(s) devoted to that strategy;
  • A strategy description may be built up from fragments of many documents making source indication impracticable and of limited value;
  • A principal document used as a source for one strategy may be more appropriately associated with a broader strategy, especially when the information on a specific strategy is only a small part of it;
  • The editorial process of selecting and restructuring texts from different sources may unintentionally distort the meaning in the original contexts (particularly when the original statements did not constitute clear descriptions).
Non-citation of sources is particularly regrettable in the case of little known documents from international organizations. In this edition, and the last, a major step towards remedying this deficiency has been taken by indicating references to books on the strategy, where these could be traced. In some cases such references have been used as a substitute for any further description.

6. Relationships to values

No cross relationships have been indicated directly to entries in the human values databases. However, in a general sense it may be said that strategies and values are related by the direct correspondence between positive values and strategies, and by they manner in which strategies only become perceptible in the light of the values upon which they are based. This points also to the existence of "negative" strategies (see Notes 3.2 and 8.4) and the experiment with creating strategies from negative values, via problems (described above). The experimental clustering of strategies according to strategy polarities, based on value polarities, is another attempt to explore relationships between strategies and values. This may be found in Section SP.

7. Relationships to human development

In a general sense, strategies are related to human development:

  • by the manner in which human development is framed and advanced by strategies; and
  • through the strategic component of global development, (including the pursuit of particular forms of human development and the conflict between different forms of human development).

It would be possible for individual strategy entries to be cross-referenced to human development entries (see Volume 2) in a similar way as has been done to problems and organizations. Editorial resources did not permit this on this occasion.