World at Risk


Edited by: CQ Press

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    Tim Allman, Freelance writer, Nottingham, United Kingdom

    Suresh C. Babu, Program leader and senior research fellow, International Food Policy Research Institute

    David E. Bloom, Chair, Department of Global Health and Population, Clarence James Gamble Professor of Economics and Demography, Harvard School of Public Health

    Daan Bronkhorst, Staff writer, Amnesty International, Netherlands

    David Canning, Professor of economics and international health, Department of Global Health and Population, Harvard School of Public Health

    Bruce Cronin, Associate professor of political science, City College of New York

    Melanie Jarman, Freelance writer, Buckfastleigh, Devon, United Kingdom

    Edward Kissi, Associate professor, Africana Studies Department, University of South Florida

    Ulla Larsen, Fellowship director, Ibis Reproductive Health, Cambridge, Massachusetts

    Stephen C. Lubkemann, Associate professor of anthropology and international affairs, George Washington University

    Tara Magner, Senior counsel to Senator Patrick Leahy (chairman, U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary). The views contained in this chapter do not necessarily reflect the views of Senator Leahy or the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary.

    Scott B. Martin, Consultant and lecturer on international affairs, Columbia University and The New School

    Erin McCandless, Co-executive editor of the Journal of Peacebuilding and Development, adjunct faculty at The New School, and peacebuilding and development consultant

    Timothy L. H. McCormack, Australian Red Cross Professor of International Humanitarian Law, University of Melbourne

    Richard B. Norgaard, Energy and Resources Group, University of California, Berkeley

    Jennifer O'Brien, Researcher, Department of Global Health and Population, Harvard School of Public Health

    Clint Peinhardt, Assistant professor of political science, School of Economic, Political, and Policy Sciences, University of Texas at Dallas

    Ann E. Robertson, Freelance writer, Robertson Writing, Gaithersburg, Maryland

    Mary Hope Schwoebel, Program officer, United States Institute of Peace

    J. Peter Scoblic, Executive editor, The New Republic and author of U.S. vs. Them: Conservatism in the Age of Nuclear Terror

    Rachel Shigekane, Director of programs at the Human Rights Center and lecturer in Peace and Conflicts Studies, University of California, Berkeley

    Mary Sisson, Freelance writer, Bothell, Washington

    Murat Somer, Associate professor of international relations, Koç University, Istanbul

    Eric Stover, Faculty director of the Human Rights Center and adjunct professor of law and public health, University of California, Berkeley

    Bob Sutcliffe, Independent writer and editor; former professor of development and international economics, most recently for University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and Universidad del Pais Vasco (Euskal Herriko Unibersitatea), Spain

    Aili Tripp, Professor of political science and gender & women's studies and director, Center for Research on Gender and Women, University of Wisconsin, Madison

    Catherine E. Weaver, Assistant professor of public affairs, Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, University of Texas at Austin

    Kar-yiu Wong, Professor of economics, University of Washington


    Since the publication of the first edition of World at Risk: A Global Issues Sourcebook, much has changed on the world stage. In 2009, as the world reels from the effects of a massive economic crisis, the effects of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks are still being felt throughout the world. Those attacks, along with the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, have changed how we think about global issues—not just about international terrorism but about international relations, the global balance of power, and the usefulness of institutions of transnational governance. In addition, issues of environmental protection loom large. In fact, the growing consensus about the threat of climate change surges to the foreground of global security issues, even as planet-wide terrorism and a worldwide economic meltdown are now such urgent concerns in our daily life.

    The second edition of World at Risk: A Global Issues Sourcebook takes its cue from the expanding complexity and severity of the global crises that we face. In efforts to increase the reader's ability to engage with these complex issues, we have restructured the book, reformulating the first edition's A-to-Z organization to one based on six subject categories: Demographics and Settlement; Economics; Environment; Education, Health, and Welfare; Politics and Governance; and Security. The coverage in these six areas has been enhanced by five completely new chapters to ensure coverage of trends that have become more pressing in recent years: Immigration, International Finance, Transnational Governance, Human Trafficking, and Drug Trafficking.

    In addition to its new organization and expanded coverage, the original chapters have been updated, with each issue being analyzed afresh, with new events, trends, research models, and policy paradigms. This enhancement has resulted in substantive revisions, such as analysis throughout the International Criminal Justice chapter of the initial efficacy of the work of the International Criminal Court (ICC), which was officially established in July 2002, and of the “hybrid” tribunals that meld the efforts of the ICC (and other international organs) with domestic legal mechanisms.

    The structure of each chapter has remained the same as in the first edition. Each chapter follows a similar sequence, allowing readers to compare the different issues and their components with ease. The discussions move from general analysis to detailed assessments on regional and national levels. After a brief opening introduction describing the importance of that particular issue to the world community, the Historical Background and Development section provides readers with an understanding of the historical context in which the contemporary issue has developed. Next, in the Current Status section, authors review the state of research on the issue and discuss how this research defines the topic; they also address the policies and programs being undertaken in response to the issue's impact. These discussions explore a wide range of thoughts and practices, some of which are controversial. In revised articles, new research and policy trends are fully explored.

    The next section, Regional Summaries, which includes a map to supplement the analysis presented, ranges from general assessments to specific examples of how the issue plays out in different areas of the world. The regional categories differ from chapter to chapter because of variations in how researchers approach their subjects. For example, researchers studying environmental issues divide the world into regions that differ from those devised by researchers analyzing economic issues or arms control. The regional summaries and maps have all been updated with new analysis and details.

    Next, the Data section provides up-to-date tabulated information to further illustrate the topic under discussion. In most cases, the statistics and other material in this section derive from respected sources; the nomenclature and presentation have been standardized when appropriate. Sources are provided for each table so that readers can refer to the data sets in their entirety. In a few instances, however, the data presented are complete, having been researched and compiled by the author.

    The Case Study section brings the issue into sharper focus, with new cases being introduced in many chapters. Here the authors illustrate how the general research and policy parameters being discussed have manifested in specific situations and countries, instructing the reader through example.

    Helpful reference sections, fully updated, follow the case studies: short biographies of researchers, policymakers, political leaders, and activists who have had an impact on current research and policymaking; a directory of government agencies, nongovernmental and multinational organizations, and research institutions that includes a mission statement and contact information for each group; and a bibliography of books, articles, reports, and Web sites to guide the reader to the sources used and to augment further investigation. Each chapter closes with extracts from treaties, conventions, and reports crucial to the development of the international community's understanding of and response to the issue at hand. Sources for accessing the full texts are provided in this section or, occasionally, in the bibliography.

    A detailed index concludes the volume, offering various points of entry to the issues to assist researchers who approach the book from assorted angles and with different questions in mind. For instance, in researching AIDS, a reader might go directly to the chapter on AIDS or, alternatively, approach the topic through index entries on specific regions or countries, manifestations of the disease, or the economic or social consequences of the pandemic.

    The statistical sources are incorporated in the text, and citations for these sources, if written reports, articles, or books, appear in the bibliography. In-text sources for widely accepted data and those that are considered part of the historical record have not been included. Occasionally, authors cite statistics from the tables in the Data section; in these cases, they omit in-text citations. The authors have made every effort to present the most up-to-date information and analysis possible.

    Because of the interconnectedness of today's world, some overlap among the issues featured here is necessary. For instance, the chapter Pollution discusses air, water, and terrestrial pollution, while Climate Change explores one particularly troublesome aspect of pollution on a global scale. Some of the issues covered in Health, which offers an overview of the range of concerns arising from health conditions throughout the world, overlap with those in AIDS. Also, each topic lends itself to a cross-disciplinary approach. For example, issues categorized under Education, Health, and Welfare, such as Hunger and Food Security, also relate to issues in Economics, such as Income Inequality and Development Aid, and to issues in Security, such as Ethnic and Regional Conflict and Peacemaking and Peacebuilding. Cross-references help readers navigate these interconnected pathways.

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