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From the Editors

Gorbachev preface

About The Global Studies Dictionary

Information. The Global Studies Dictionary (Hardcover)

Transcendent Philosophy of Mulla Sadra byProfessor S.M. Khamenei

 
Current Trends in Global Studies

 

This volume represents the culmination of the efforts of over 350 of the foremost experts worldwide in the field of Global Studies and other related disciplines. Since early in 2005, the Editors have gathered contributions from a wide variety of academic and non-academic authors, drawing upon respected institutions such as the Russian Academy of Sciences and organizations such as Concerned Philosophers for Peace, the Russian Philosophical Society, the Russian Ecological Academy, and the Paideia Project of Boston University. As Mikhail Gorbachev notes in his Preface, our goal has been to find common ground and a platform for a calm and constructive discussion of even the most difficult and sensitive issues.

The field of Global Studies has arisen in response to such concerns. Since the 1960s, world scholars have sought to better understand what is now called globalization, recognizing the universal significance and potential dangers associated with, for instance, the ever-quickening pace and accessibility of information exchange, the international mobility of labor markets, the exponential growth of knowledge and service-based industries and accompanying technologies, population fluctuations, and the transformation of traditional value systems world-wide. In their entry on the topic of Global Studies, Editors Ivan Mazour and Alexander Chumakov remark, the most important achievement of global studies was the creation of a language for interdisciplinary communication acceptable for different sciences, and the development and upgrading of fundamental key concepts and categories. Thus, ideas such as global problems, ecological crisis, demographic explosion, world community, and the new humanism have emerged through work in the interdisciplinary field of Global Studies. The entries in this volume epitomize the growing knowledge within this field, exploring these and other concepts in order to more adequately articulate and propose workable solutions for the problems that all of humanity shares as the result of trends associated with globalization.

An earlier volume, upon which the present work has been based, constituted the first effort to encapsulate the basic knowledge accumulated by those active in the field of Global Studies. In 2003, a team of scholars, primarily in the United States and Russia, published the Global Studies Encyclopedia in both English and Russian editions. Including over 430 contributions by 278 authors from 38 countries, that volume represented the first encyclopedia dedicated to the questions posed by globalization and the basic trends of global development. The Encyclopedia achieved the purpose of strengthening ties among international scholars, politicians, social activists, and government officials concerned with global problems by offering a forum for a multiplicity of perspectives, approaches, and fields of specialization. Given the quality and variety of material offered therein, the Encyclopedia won the prestigious Book of the Year award in the Encyclopedia/Dictionary category at the Moscow International Book Exhibition and Fair in 2003.

Prometheus Press has now offered the editors of the Global Studies Encyclopedia the opportunity to publish this companion volume, the Global Studies Dictionary. The primary purpose of this new book is to include many more, yet briefer entries about the aforementioned terms and notions that have been articulated in the field of Global Studies. Thus, while the Encyclopedia includes lengthier articles that provide many details on broad topics, the present volume serves to provide the reader with clarified meanings of emerging notions in Global Studies as well as definitions of now well-established concepts. This new book thereby features both updated entries appearing in the original volume and many new entries written by original contributors as well as highly-qualified additional authors. In order to incorporate these new entries while remaining within the page limit stipulated by the publisher, some of the original entries have been omitted from this new volume and others have been edited. Many difficult choices were made in selecting entries that would not be retained in this new book, though criteria included non-redundancy and clear, timely content likely to appeal to a broad readership.

Still, numerous high quality entries can be found in the Encyclopedia that do not appear in the Dictionary, along with many lengthy entries which have been abbreviated for the Dictionary in keeping with the new format of shorter (1500 words or less), more definitional entries. In order to assist the reader, a symbol system has been devised to distinguish among original and new entries. Entries that have been transferred from the Encyclopedia to the Dictionary without alteration are listed with no accompanying symbols; entries that appear in expanded form in the Encyclopedia are indicated by an asterisk (*) and new entries are indicated by a plus sign (+). Prometheus is now also able to distribute the original Encyclopedia for readers who wish to obtain the original volume.

The topics covered in both volumes are drawn from all areas of academic study, including entries on the Biosphere, Climate, Culture, Demography, Health, Ecology and Natural Resources, Education and Teaching, Global Problems and Globalization, History and Future Studies, International Organizations, International Terrorism, International Law and Human Rights, Science and Technology, Social Movements, Sustainable Development, Urbanization, War and Peace, and World Religions. New topics appearing in the Global Studies Dictionary include Global Political Philosophies and Ideologies, Global Economics, Global Resource Allocation, Information Technology, International Diplomacy, International Moral Issues, Media Studies, Multiculturalism, Nationalism, Psychological and Sociological Aspects of Globalization, and Transnational Issues in Capital and Crime.

Our interest in continuing the quality and diversity of entries in the new volume has also resulted in a wider range of nationalities and perspectives represented in the Global Studies Dictionary, which features over 600 entries by more than 350 authors from over 50 nations world wide, representing 6 of 7 continents. These totals represent an increase of more than 200 new articles by more than 70 new authors in more than a dozen nations. Though the reader may encounter vocabularies or approaches with which he or she is not familiar, our editorial goal has involved exposing our readers to the rich variety of voices in the Global conversation, rather than enforcing a narrow standard of methodological and philosophical homogeneity. Similarly, while some entries have been edited for sexist or otherwise divisive language, our concern for pluralism of content has led us to include some entries which may be regarded as controversial, especially to certain religious and cultural sensibilities. Once again, we have included such entries in accordance with our aim of inclusiveness. In doing so, for instance, we have made a special effort to solicit contributions from several important Islamic scholars. While their criticisms of globalization may seem anti-Western in tone, they are important components in the needed cross-cultural dialogue. Unless we engage in some difficult conversations, the attempts by Global Studies to address the key global problems will be too partial and too partisan. Forging consensus where we can and recognizing differences and divisions where we cannot are important components in the endeavors of scholars in Global Studies who wish to examine such challenges in all their complexities.

Thus, the Global Studies Dictionary provides useful and engaging knowledge and insights from some of the leading authors in their respective fields worldwide. As such, the Dictionary stands as a valuable resource for researchers, students, or those who are simply interested in learning more about global issues, and many entries cite references for further reading. Entries are arranged in alphabetical order, with an index at the end that lists all entries in their order of appearance. Following this listing of entries, an author index appears that lists each author alphabetically and also notes his or her contribution(s), title, institution, and/or location.

In closing, I would like to thank William Gay for granting me the opportunity to help him with this important project, as well as the many contributing authors to the Encyclopedia who have kindly prepared edited entries for this new book.

 

Michael T. Howard, Assistant Editor