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Global strategies project: summary


The purpose of this project, one of the major dimensions of  the Encyclopedia, is to identify the complete range of strategies perceived by international constituencies, whether as a focus for their programme activities, their research, their protest, their recommendations, or as part of their belief system. An entry has been established on each strategy. This provides a context within which the network of specific relationships perceived between these strategies may also be identified.


This section contains sub-sections as follows (figures for 4th edition, 1994-95):

  • Descriptive sections
    • Section SB: Basic general strategies (158)
    • Section SC: Cross-sectoral strategies (1,100)
    • Section SD: Detailed strategies (3,315)
    • Section SE: Emanations of other strategies (3,008)
    • Section SF: Fuzzy exceptional strategies (1,382)
  • Referenced-only sections (not printed in this volume)
    • Section SG: Very specific strategies (7,685)
    • Section SJ: Insufficiently cross-referenced strategies (4,983)
    • Section SK: Uncross-referenced strategies (7,627)
  • Section SP: Strategy polarities

This Encyclopedia section contains entries on a total of 29,542 strategies grouping 52,406 strategy names which are indexed by keyword. The entries are linked by 84,890 cross-references.

As indicated above, the section is divided into 5 major sub-sections -- SB through SF -- containing descriptive entries. A further three sub-sections -- Sections SG, SJ and SK -- correspond to entries which are referenced-only (by entries in SB through SF); they are not printed, nor are they indexed.

Section SP is an experimental section used to cluster strategies according to 239 value polarities and 45 value clusters.

Detailed statistics are also available in the commentary.


The entries are based on information obtained from international organizations, a wide variety of reference books, or as reported in the international media. Research procedures were designed to detect both well-publicized strategies as well as little-known strategies, whether recognized by official bodies or not. The procedures include methods of handling hierarchies of sub-strategies which extend down to a level of specificity that is inappropriate to attempt to handle at this stage.

Detailed comments on methods are provided in a commentary.


As a whole, this section on strategies endeavours to present phenomena in society that take such names as actions, solutions, programmes, campaigns, agendas and which are perceived positively by the groups or individuals undertaking them. These are initiatives which engender feelings of creativity and advancement. They are undertakings taken for the improvement, maintenance or recovery of desirable conditions. Their execution serves the interests of the strategic actors and very often are explicitly for the good of others. As such they are a major force in the development of society.

This does not always mean that all strategies are perceived by others as positive. The stimuli prompting strategic response can engender fear, irrational and destructive responses equally as well as considered, balanced and creative remedial actions. Groups may be very strongly motivated by the problems which infringe their values and arouse their indignation. Some such problems may be other's strategies.

The varying perceptions documented in this section raise useful questions concerning the nature of strategies and what is meant by adopting a strategy. Inclusion of a strategy in this section is therefore not considered by the editors to mean that the strategy "exists", but only that a functionally significant group of people in a number of countries endorse the strategy or claim that it exists on the basis of the facts available to them.

There is considerable difficulty obtaining material on strategies --rather than on the opinions, beliefs, theories, disciplines or other frameworks through which perception of strategies is filtered. A primary aim of the editorial work has been to render strategies generic, [ie] transcending national frontiers, organization boundaries and individual philosophies and mind-sets.

Detailed comments on methods are provided in a commentary.


A keyword index to entries is provided in Section SX.


The contents of this section of the Encyclopedia may be considered as complementing the other sections in ways such as the following:

  • World problems: By the direct relationship between the recognition of problems and the development of strategies to remedy or counteract them.
  • 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).
  • Integrative knowledge: By the importance of integrative knowledge for comprehending the nature of the global resolutique; by the manner in which that resolutique calls for new kinds of integrative knowledge.
  • Metaphors and patterns: By the strategies of communication in a global society and by the need to communicate the nature of strategies.
  • Transformative approaches: By the importance of such approaches in offering new strategic insights.
  • Human values: 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.


The strategy descriptions in this project represent a compilation of views from published documents (usually from international organizations) and are in no way intended as an accusation or a criticism of any particular group or country by the editors or publishers of this volume. By including or excluding particular strategies, the editors are in no way implying either approval or disapproval of the strategy as conceived or as described. The same strategies tend to be viewed differently by different groups in society. For one group a strategy is of the utmost importance and urgency, for another the same strategy is insignificant, does not exist, or is completely misconceived on the basis of available facts.