ERIC Number: ED233938
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Apr
Reference Count: 0
The Study of Socio-Biospheric Problems.
Scott, Andrew M.
Concepts, tools, and a methodology are needed which will permit the analysis of emergent socio-biospheric problems and facilitate their effective management. Many contemporary problems may be characterized as socio-biospheric; for example, pollution of the seas, acid rain, the growth of cities, and an atmosphere loaded with carcinogens. However, these problems are not yet perceived as proper subjects for systematic study. Because the tendency to focus on single problems is strong, the development of insights and managerial tools is impeded. Yet, socio-biospheric problems do have shared features, some of which are a pattern of onset, rate of development, magnitude at a given moment, duration, intervention options, and means for assessing the impact of intervention. Socio-biospheric problems involve large numbers of actors who create (not willingly) these problems as a result of their day-to-day activities. The processes are usually slow and cumulative, and often interact and converge with one another. Unfortunately, the rate at which problems are produced and at which they are disposed of can vary independently. A factor which further restricts the ability to create a methodology to deal with these problems is that uncertainty and complexity in the global system are sharply increasing. However, planning is essential to the management of global affairs and may be enhanced by improving the theory and quality of analysis, making values more explicit, and making effective use of prior experiences. (KC)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the International Studies Association (Mexico City, Mexico, April 6-9, 1983).