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Global Problems, Global Solutions

Global Problems, Global Solutions
Prospects for a Better World

First Edition
  • JoAnn Chirico - The Pennsylvania State University, University College

October 2018 | 648 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

Global Problems, Global Solutions: Prospects for a Better World approaches social problems from a global perspective with an emphasis on using one’s sociological imagination. Perfect for instructors who involve students in research, this text connects problems borne by individuals to regional, global and historical forces, and stresses the importance of evidence in forming opinions and policies addressing social issues. The book introduces readers to the complexities of the major problems that confront us today such as violent conflict, poverty, climate change, human trafficking and other issues that we encounter in our lives. It book concludes with a chapter on politics and government, underscoring the need for good governance at all levels–and cooperation among many layers of government–to build a better world.

About the Author
Chapter 1. Private Troubles and Social Problems: Developing a Sociological Imagination
It Was the Best of Times, It Was the Worst of Times

Private Troubles, Public Issues

Vulnerability to Global Problems

Using a Social Science Lens

Glass Half Empty or Half Full?

Perspectives for Studying Problems

Understanding the Global Order

Part I: Nourishing Human Capital
Chapter 2. Socioeconomic Fault Lines: Inequality, Poverty, and Development
How Well Does the Global Economy Function?

Understanding Inequality

Impacts of Global Poverty and Inequality

Quality of Life Along Levels of Development

Origins of Contemporary Inequality Among Nations

Factors Influencing Varying Levels of Development

Varying Pathways to Development

Fighting Poverty and Inequality

Chapter 3. Starving in the Shadow of Plenty
The Global Food System

Food Security

How Can We Fix Our Broken Food System?

Food Safety Nets

Chapter 4. Optimizing Human Capital: Good Health
The Global Burden of Disease

How Our Lifestyles Harm Us: Non-Communicable Disease

Discrimination in Health Care

Anomie in the 21st Century: Mental Health Concerns

Infectious Outbreak, Epidemic, Pandemic

Making Health Care Work

Coordinated Action

Chapter 5. Expanding Horizons Through Lifelong Learning
Achieving Universal Education

Measuring Quality Education

The Pivotal Problem of Funding

Reaching More with Education

Improving the Quality of Education

Part II: Restoring Civility to Social Life
Chapter 6. From Difference to Discrimination: Fault Lines of Race, Ethnicity, and Religion
Defining Difference: Diversity and Meaning

Burned by the Sun or White Like the Ice: The Social Creation of Race

The Rights of Indigenous Communities: The "First" Peoples

Human Rights, Life Chances, and Discrimination

Falling Between the Cracks: Statelessness in a World of States

Having the Wrong Religion Could Cost You Your Life

Confronting Discrimination and Persecution

Chapter 7. You Can't Empower Us with Chickens: Gender Through the Lifespan
Gender Inequality and Human Development

Gender Inequities Throughout the Lifespan

Chapter 8. When Life Becomes a Commodity: Human and Wildlife Trafficking
Globalization Effects on Crime

Individual and Environmental Vulnerability to Transnational Organized Crime

The Legal Framework to Combat Transnational Organized Crime

Human Trafficking: When People Become a Commodity

Combatting Human Trafficking

Trafficking in Wildlife: Flora and Fauna

Chapter 9. Transnational Property Crimes
The War on Drug Trafficking

The Human Cost of Illegal Drugs

Death and Violence Along Trafficking Routes

Economic Costs of Drugs and Alternative Development

Trafficking in Firearms and Weaponry

Intellectual Property Crime: Trafficking in Counterfeit and Pirated Goods

Emerging Crimes

Combatting Cybercrime: The Legislative Framework

Combatting Transnational Crimes

Chapter 10. The Challenge of Political Violence
The Nature of War, Armed Conflict, and Political Instability

Correlates and Causes of Violent Conflicts

Consequences and Costs of Violent Conflict

The Conflict Trap

Protecting Peace and Problems of Peacemaking

Promoting Peace and Getting Out of the Conflict Trap

Part III: Sustaining Natural and Manufactured Environments
Chapter 11. Global Flows of Refugees
Types of Migration

Global Flows of Refugees

Life as a Refugee

The "Solutions"

Internally Displaced Persons

Chapter 12. Environmental and Economic Migration
What Is a Migrant?

Patterns of Migration

Displaced by Climate Change and Environmental Disaster

Demographic, Economic, and Social Impacts of Migration

Populist Backlash to Immigration

Mitigating the Challenges of Migration

Chapter 13. Destruction and Depletion of the Natural Environment
Scope of Environmental Problems

Chemical Contaminants

Air, Land, and Water Degradation and Depletion

Developing Nations and Toxic Dumping

Pollution in the Developing World

Water Pollution in the Developed World

Environmental Assessment in the United States

Depletion of Water Resources

The Global Water Regime

A Global View: Air Pollution

Land Degradation

The Forests

The Global Chemical Regime

Escaping the Toxic: Living Green

Chapter 14. Climate Change and Global Warming
The Threat of Climate Change

The Symptoms of a Changing Climate

Extreme Weather and Displaced People

Health and Nutrition Effects

The Environmental Regime

"Greening" the Earth: Sustainable Development

Chapter 15. Urbanization: The Lure of the Cities
What Makes a City?

What Does it Mean to Be Urban?

Contemporary Cities

The Urban Slums: Cities of Tomorrow?

Achieving Urban Sustainability

Chapter 16. A World Gone Awry? The State of Governance
Is the World Unmanageable?

Goals of Governance

Layers of Governance

A Normative Basis for Good Governance

Meeting the Challenges of Governance



Instructor site

Password-protected Instructor Resources include the following:

  • Microsoft® Word test bank is available containing multiple choice, true/false, short answer, and essay questions for each chapter. The test bank provides you with a diverse range of pre-written options as well as the opportunity for editing any question and/or inserting your own personalized questions to effectively assess students’ progress and understanding.
  • Editable, chapter-specific Microsoft® PowerPoint® slides offer you complete flexibility in easily creating a multimedia presentation for your course. Highlight essential content, features, and artwork from the book.
  • Lecture notes that summarize key concepts by chapter to help in lecture preparation and class discussions.
Student Site

The open-access Student Study Site includes the following:

·         Mobile-friendly web quizzes allow for independent assessment of progress made in learning course material.

Key features


  • Transforming our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which recognizes a single global system and the interdependence of problems across national borders, is used as a framework that explores three broad themes–"Building Human Capital," "Incivility," and "Our Environments”
  • Rich data in easily-understood language highlights the relationships among problems and supporting claims and shows the importance of evidence as well as how to find patterns and analyze data.
  • Mini research exercises guide students in gathering and analyzing data from online sources such as Amnesty International and the World Bank, teaching them how important social facts and forces are measured.
  • Opening vignettes focus on lived experiences in different regions of the world, illustrating the connection between personal problems and larger social and political forces.
  • Critical thinking questions, requiring students to confront moral and ethical questions and to weigh evidence to form an opinion, help them to see the complexity of global issues.
  • Examples of how civil society organizations address social problems demonstrate how citizen groups can influence governments and international organizations.

For instructors

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ISBN: 9781506347790

ISBN: 9781506347783

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