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World Problem Networks: as perceived by international organization networks (Part #7)


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It is not possible to do more then note very briefly the points which emerged fromthe process of registering problems identified in the documents of international and other bodies. These include I

  1. Overwhelming general desire to conclude that there are only a limited number of major problems, associated with an inability to recognize that the number of problems, recognized night be greater then 10 (or occasionally 50). Great emphasis is placed on naming "the most important problem" or problems.
  2. Absence of consensus concerning the relative importance of problems, or concerning the existence of many of them. most problems have supporters wich consider their problem to be (among) the most importent.
  3. Inability to recognize the nature and number of acknowledged relationships between problems.
  4. Inability to recognize the consequences Of the resulting complexity for ability to comprehend the network of problems in an adequate manner.
  5. Lack of clarity or consensus on the m___er in chick problems could be disaggregated into subproblems.
  6. Reluctance to focus on problems rather then goals, values, solutions or programmsaction.
  7. Reluctance to accept that problems may be examined independently ofthe concerns of a particular institution or perspective.
  8. Reluctance to accept that problems can usefully bo considered as wille-defined entities which can be conceived as embedded in networks of well-defined relationships.
  9. Assumption that sufficient information is already available on problems and their relationships.
  10. Considerable lack of precision in thinking about, identifying, and naming problems (to the point that values, goals and problems are frequently confused, e.g. in the case of "peace").
  11. Tendency for problems to be disguised, neutralized or denatured by their treatment :as agenda items in meetings, as programme/budget items in organizations, as symbols in public information programmes, as events in news media, 89 legal violations, as subjects in information systems, or as intellectual puzzles associated with theoretical problems by the research community.