In approach, organization, and projected use, the second edition will build largely on the first. The second edition will comprise a text of approximately 925,000 words, with approximately ten percent new text accommodated by corresponding cuts in existing copy where the subject matter has receded in importance. Entries are distributed among ten major thematic categories: Nations Biographies Concepts (arms control, citizenship, containment) Conventions, treaties, and developments in international law (Helsinki Accords, Yalta Conference, Panama Canal Treaty) Domestic political, economic, and social issues (coup d'etat, literacy, perestroika) Forms of government and institutions (apartheid, totalitarianism, U.S.
Congress) Historical events (Chernobyl nuclear accident, Cultural Revolution, Gulf War) International issues (militarism, counterinsurgency, AIDS) International organizations (Amnesty International, OPEC, United Nations) Interpretive essays (including major analytical essays on class and politics, democracy, development and underdevelopment, environmentalism) A new feature, to be highlighted by special design elements, will present critical essays by well-known and significant figures representing distinct points of view on crucial issues of concern to both academic and general readers. These essays will cover topics such as censorship and freedom of speech, liberalism and alternative models, and the affirmative action. In addition, all continuing authors will update their entries and respond to detailed proposals for revisions by the academic editors.
The period of development and publication of the first edition of the Companion (1988-1993) was a moment of extraordinary tumult in world affairs; the intervening years have seen both the ripening of themes upon which the first edition was built, and the deepening of a set of challenges that were perhaps visible on the horizon, but not yet clearly in focus. The second edition will reassess many of the work's core themes, for example, the shifting balance between nation-states and regional and international forces and organizations in the determination of policy; the complex interplay among diverse collective identities such as nationality, race, ethnicity, and gender; and the near-universal appeal of democracy, the pressures for greater participation by citizens, and the ongoing processes of democratic transition.
In addition, recent years provide data that may lead to new or refined interpretations about the complexity of global governance in an era of deepening divisions between North and South; the cost and efficacy of intervention and peacekeeping; the representative structure and the global role of the United Nations; and the fate of democracy amidst the increased skepticism by citizens throughout the world about national, regional, and global institutions for governance. The new edition holds the promise of greater understanding about themes such as the fragility of nation-states in the face of centrifugal nationalisms; the critical distinctions between democratic transitions and the consolidation of democracy; the interplay of religion and politics both within countries and in international affairs; and much more. It will also emphasize crucial new developments in American politics from the resurgent federalism of Gingrich's "Contract with America" to NAFTA to the "Third Way".show more