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Global Strategies Project (Explanations)

Global Strategies: Type Codes

Global Strategies Project

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To help users understand how the strategies are distinguished in the Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential, codes have been appended to the strategy names on the index pages (and at the end of each profile). These codes correspond to the type sections into which the strategy profiles have been tentatively clustered in the Encyclopedia. They are designed to distinguish the more general and fundamental strategies from those which are more specific or detailed. More detailed comments on each type are given by following the hyperlinks:

Attribution to a particular type is never considered definitive and is continually reviewed for the on-line version. It is a pragmatic convenience. Some strategies coded "F" could well have been coded otherwise. In a number of cases a strategy could have been allocated to another type. Inclusion of a strategy in a particular type, rather than in a preceding or following type, has been based on a number of factors. The position of the strategy in one or more hierarchies of cross-references may be a major factor in determining its allocation to a particular type.


Derivation of type attributions

The following overlapping guidelines were used in allocating the type code letter during the editorial process:

Attribution to a particular type is not considered definitive. It is a pragmatic convenience. Some strategies coded "F" could well have been coded otherwise.

A: Abstract fundamental strategies

This type has been used to identify strategies which are not usually the direct focus of international action. The strategies here are characterized by their abstract or fundamental nature. For that reason, they are also especially characterized by terminological ambiguity. Despite their seemingly "fuzzy" nature, it is these strategies which are frequently cited in debates and lead to recognition of the less ambiguous strategies in subsequent sections.

Many of the strategies here are best considered as strategy complexes in that no single term adequately captures the underlying concern. Therefore, although each strategy has a single main title, it also has many secondary synonymous titles. The situation is further complicated in that the words used in these titles frequently have other meanings. This results in their also being used to name other strategies in this section (whether as main or secondary titles).

The terminological complexity is partially clarified by indicating cross-references from each strategy to related strategies in which the same words are used with somewhat different significance. An effort has also been made to show how many of these strategies may be clustered within broader strategies at an even higher level of abstraction. At this level of abstraction no words can be usefully used to name the strategy. Such strategies therefore have names with "*complex" appended to them.

Although the information in this section is essentially "fuzzy", it is considered of value to that extent that it endeavours to map out the range of concerns which underlie those with which international bodies are normally preoccupied. Because of its fuzziness, this section can only be considered as experimental. It is an experiment in handling the levels of ambiguity which bedevil communication concerning strategic issues.

In contrast to the other types, these strategies are based on work done on human values, and especially on negative values. This work is described in the section on Human Values. Essentially it involved clustering negative value terms and determining ways to clarify, or map, the basic ambiguity by which such information is characterized. The intent was to "capture" the full spectrum of negative values because of their intimate relationship to fundamental strategies.

B: Basic universal strategies

This type identifies the major multi-sectoral, world-wide strategies which tend to be prominent on the agendas of the major international organizations and in the media. Such strategies also tend to group, or focus, many of the more specialized strategies which are described in subsequent sections. Indeed in many debates discussion of the more specialized strategies may be subsumed under discussion of these major strategies.

Note that further information relevant to an understanding of the strategy may be present in other strategies cross-referenced in the entry consulted.

Many of the strategies in this section are of such proportions and complexity that no single organization or discipline can claim to encompass any one of them in all its aspects. The scope and implications of such strategies tends to be a matter of continuing debate. They are not sufficiently well-defined to respond to well-defined solutions. The nature of an appropriate solution to such strategies is also a matter of continuing debate.

C: Cross-sectoral strategies

This type identifies the major cross-sectoral, world-wide strategies which tend to be prominent on the agendas of international organizations with more specialized concerns, as well as in the media. Such strategies also tend to group, or focus, many of the more specialized strategies which are described in subsequent sections. Indeed in many debates discussion of the more specialized strategies may be subsumed under discussion of these strategies.

Note that further information relevant to an understanding of the strategy may be present in other strategies cross-referenced in the entry consulted.

The strategies of this type are often sectoral variants on the broader or more basic strategies described in Type B. Many of the strategies of this type are of such proportions and complexity that no single organization or discipline can claim to encompass any one of them in all its aspects. The scope and implications of such strategies tends to be a matter of continuing debate. They are not sufficiently well-defined to respond to well-defined solutions. The nature of an appropriate solution to such strategies is also a matter of continuing debate.

Inclusion of such strategies calls for no comment because of their widely recognized importance. Where they are cross-sectoral variants of those in the previous section, their inclusion here prevents neglect of the sectoral specificity, as tends to be the case when such strategies are subsumed under those of the broader strategies in Type B.

D: Detailed strategies

This type identifies the detailed and sectorally-specialized strategies which tend to be prominent on the agendas of international organizations with specialized concerns, as well as in the media. Such strategies also tend to group, or focus, many of the even more specialized strategies which are described in subsequent types. Indeed in many debates discussion of those more specialized strategies may be subsumed under discussion of these strategies.

Note that further information relevant to an understanding of the strategy may be present in other strategies cross-referenced in the entry consulted.

The strategies of this type are often sectoral variants on the broader or more basic strategies described in the previous types (Types B or C). Inclusion of such strategies calls for no comment because of their widely recognized importance. Where they are cross-sectoral variants of those in the previous type, their inclusion here prevents neglect of the sectoral specificity, as tends to be the case when such strategies are subsumed under those of the broader strategies in Type B.

E: Emanations of other strategies

This type identifies detailed and sectorally-specialized strategies. The strategies in this section tend to be permutations and combinations of the broader strategies identified by the previous sections (Type B, C or D). Many of the strategies of this type are parts of sets or series resulting from such combinations. Whereas the earlier types aim to be comprehensive in coverage, this type does not necessarily include all potential strategies forming part of such series.

Note that further information relevant to an understanding of the strategy may be present in other strategies cross-referenced in the entry consulted, especially any broader strategies.

Whereas the strategies allocated to earlier types tend to be the subject of distinct studies, conventions or organizational programmes, those of this type tend to emerge from the paragraphs and sub-paragraphs of documents which may only incidentally be strategy-focused. strategies at this level of detail frequently escape information collection procedures and are easily ignored as side effects of broader strategies. It is also the case that these strategies may be more readily detected in practical situations.

F: Fuzzy exceptional strategies

This type identifies "unusual" strategies. These may include:

Strategies are also allocated to this type when it is difficult to justify their allocation to any other type. A significant number of the strategies cannot be readily grouped into hierarchies using the "broader" relationship. They then tend to be characterized by the looser "related" link or by functional links to other strategies.

Note that further information relevant to an understanding of the strategy may be present in other strategies cross-referenced in the entry consulted.

The strategies in this type tend not to be a preoccupation of the programmes of international organizations. But they may emerge in reports on the failures of those programmes.

The strategies allocated to this type tend to emerge from unusual studies that do not fall within any of the conventional disciplines and thus seldom figure in any reviews of the crises of the times. Some derive from the paragraphs and sub-paragraphs of documents of programmes in response to the more conventional described in earlier types. strategies of this kind frequently escape information collection procedures and are easily ignored as being unworthy of serious attention. The importance of some of these strategies become more readily apparent in practical situations.

G: Very specific strategies

This type identifies very specific strategies. They themselves tend to be grouped under broader strategies identified by earlier types. A strategy is included here when it is considered too specific to merit inclusion in any of the previous types, especially if it constitutes one of a number of sub-elements of specific strategies described there.

Descriptions are often not given any priority. The strategies may only appear as cross-references of entries under earlier types.

In the process of collecting information for description under previous types, the names of many interesting candidates for inclusion emerge. The many strategies in this type constitute the detail of reference books on diseases, endangered species, strategies of particular commodities or economic sectors, and the like. As such they are easily ignored in attempts to respond to the classes of strategies to which they belong.

It is by specific strategies that people and groups are touched. The challenge is to explore methods of providing pointers to the maximum number of such strategies. Keyword indexes and hierarchies of cross-references are used, thus ensuring a trace on them, whether or not it is possible or appropriate to provide a succinct description of them at this stage. The difficulty is to establish useful cut-off points to avoid overwhelming the process with strategies at an excessive level of detail.

Registering a strategy under this type ensures that borderline cases can be noted, indexed and included in hierarchies and networks of cross-references in anticipation of the opportunity for future research and editorial work on them. This type therefore provides a possibility for initiating the process of setting such strategies in context.

J: Strategies under consideration

This type identifies strategies which are under consideration for inclusion in the preceding types. As such they may overlap strategies already appearing there or may be rejected for a variety of other reasons. strategies are included in this type:

Note that further information relevant to an understanding of the strategy may be present in other strategies to which the index cross-reference refers, especially any broader strategies.

In the process of collecting information for description in the previous types, the names of many interesting candidates for inclusion emerge. Since the strategy collection process is an ongoing one, this type provides a valuable means of reflecting the kinds of strategy on which further information is being sought. Registering a strategy in this type ensures that borderline or questionable cases can be noted at an early stage. They are immediately indexed and included in hierarchies and networks of cross-references in anticipation of the opportunity for future research and editorial work on them. This type therefore provides a possibility for initiating the process of setting such strategies in context.

P: Strategy polarities

As an experiment in data presentation in order to obtain a better overview of major strategies, and especially to highlight the strategic dimension, it was decided to group the entries in Types B, C and F using categories corresponding to those developed for the 225 value polarities of the Human Values Project. This was suggested, and rendered possible, by the striking parallelism between the value words of Type C (Constructive values) and the operative gerunds used for strategy names to provide the action-oriented emphasis to the strategies they identified. The result of this regrouping forms the 239 entries of Type P.

Strategy types and complexes

Pursuing the relationship to the Human Values Project, it was also decided to group the strategic polarities of Type P (Value polarities) within 45 strategy types (as had been done for the values). The result of this regrouping forms a classified index to Type P.

Strategic roles

(Printed in the second edition (1986) of the Encyclopedia only). For the 1986 edition, it was decided to explore the possibility of defining "personal strategies" (to complement the primary emphasis on collective strategies, primarily open to groups, communities and organizations). Personal strategies were defined as "non-economic occupations" or "roles" through which individuals could achieve many of their psycho-social needs. Some of the strategies-cum-roles it proved interesting to include in this experimental section were, for example, managerial team roles/styles (R. Meredith Belbin, Management Teams, London, Heinemann, 1981) and roles/strategies from selected interpersonal games identified by the techniques of transaction analysis (Eric Berne, Games People Play: the psychology of human relationships, London, André Deutsch, 1966). These suggest the possibility of interrelating complementary personal strategies. By including a handful of basic economic roles (employee, entrepreneur, etc), this series could then be conceived as "strategic roles". The editorial work on this type was subcontracted to the Institute of Cultural Affairs (Brussels) in order to benefit from its experience in community development. This type has not been further developed and is not made accessible.

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