On World Problems. Facts and Implications - A Hungarian View

Fodor E & Szalay P (1985). On World Problems. Facts and Implications - A Hungarian View. IIASA Collaborative Paper. IIASA, Laxenburg, Austria: CP-85-034

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Abstract

This volume of Hungarian studies was compiled as part of the UNESCO Major Programme I (Reflection on World Problems and Future-oriented Studies) within the framework of the contract concluded between UNESCO and IIASA. The subject of the contract was the preparation of a study entitled World Problems and their Perceptions. The study was compiled in coordination with the Hungarian National Member Organization of IIASA. The Report, in addition to the State of the Art part, contains information about the Task Force Meeting which UNESCO and IIASA organized in Budapest, February 1985, on a theme in accordance with the title of the report and the contributions of which will appear later in book form.

This Collaborative Paper is part of the background material of the Report. It shows a possible perception and interpretation of a group of problems, and the implications arising therefrom.

The Report sets out to show what concealed cultural or professional presuppositions there are behind the weight of the different conceptions of so-called global or world problems and how they differ in relation to each other. In this connection it reflects on the UNESCO Medium-Term Plan: "Whatever the approaches adopted, studies on world problems are inevitably linked, by the very nature of the field they cover -- which is none other than the present and future of societies -- to choices based on presuppositions regarding standards or on systems of values or even on ideological choices. They seem to require, as their necessary complement, an open-minded examination carried out in a context which promotes intellectual cooperation and within which all currents of thought can be freely expressed; and no organization seems to offer such a context more successfully than UNESCO."

The Report tries to justify the hypothesis formulated in UNESCO's Medium-Term Plan and make clear the necessary existence of differing cultural and professional world views in this respect. It shows that there is no one correct point of view, that many rational conceptions of equal value to each other exist, and that in relation to these problems only the acceptance of plural rationality can lead to common solutions. While this conception seems trivial, practice shows that in seeking solutions this approach is not unique and not at all self-explanatory. The Report and the Collaborative Paper show how the economic, social and cultural conditions, as well as practice, determine the world view, how wide the differences are, and that they necessarily lead to various problem formulations and action plans. In actual fact these outlined differences and knowledge of their explanation can lead the international organizations to the formulation of fuller and, probably, more successful action programmes than previously.

In the Collaborative Paper we offer a selection of Hungarian studies prepared recently in various specialized fields, we give an insight into the workshop debates and results of the Hungarian research teams, and last but not least, we try to show the options formed an different topics by Hungarian researchers.

The volume is not a homogeneous-topic selection, but at the same time we endeavored, by examining the facts, to concentrate on different features of the unequal development taking place globally and to indicate the interconnection between the studies. The authors of the studies examine, in a complex way, the world economic. and world political changes of the past years, the present state and tendencies of world factors and draw conclusions as to the expected developments.

Naturally, as with all selections, the content of our volume cannot cover the wide range of problems -- also formulated by UNESCO's programmes, even though we plan several selections during the programme period. With this initiative, while wishing to give a sample of the work and opinions of Hungarian researchers, we would also like to encourage other national research teams to make a similar statement of opinion, so that we can contribute directly to the dialogue in the range of topics of the world problems programme being discussed also in international organizations.

The range of studies closes with a summary, in which in addition to a summing up of the contents and conclusions of the studies, a sharper formulation is made of those questions to which we want particularly to draw attention at the present stage of the World Problems Programme, covering an extremely wide range of topics.

Item Type: Monograph (IIASA Collaborative Paper)
Research Programs: Secretariat (SEC)
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 01:56
Last Modified: 21 Jul 2016 03:08
URI: http://pure.iiasa.ac.at/2714

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