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  December 1998    

New from UNU Press
137 books weigh a half-ounce
With many books available in full text to download from the UNU Web site, the United Nations University has already entered the multimedia age. However, only in late 1998 did the Press issue its first CD-ROM, the "Collection on Critical Global Issues," which holds the full texts of 137 separate publications on the environment, development, and nutritional issues.

These include 19 titles on agriculture and land management, 13 titles on development, 27 titles on the environment and sustainability issues, 15 titles on food and nutrition, 16 titles on natural resource utilization, and 68 issues of the Food and Nutrition Bulletin, a scholarly journal published by the Press.

The UNU Press is distributing this educational tool at no charge to fulfil its mandate to disseminate research related to the pressing global problems of human survival, development, and welfare. To obtain this CD-ROM, please e-mail

Local Economic Development: A Geographical Comparison of Rural Community Restructuring
Restructuring is a widely used concept which denotes rapid socio- economic transformation processes in communities and nations alike. This book, edited by Cecily Neil and Markku Tykkyläinen, seeks to explain rural areas' restructuring processes and highlight the trends of the 1990s.

Case studies from Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria, Russia, Sweden, Finland, Ireland, the United States, Viet Nam and Australia examine capitalist and neo-capitalist restructuring in traditional, modern, post-industrial and trans-local communities. The authors conclude that local development policy must be reflexive and dynamic, focusing on economically and socially sustainable solutions.

Globalization and the World of Large Cities
This book, edited by Fu-chen Lo and Yue-man Yeung, analyses the world's urban future through a number of critical themes relating to globalization, including urban corridors, Islamic cities, new technologies, transport and telecommunications, financial centres, and food issues. "World cities" are examined to identify the processes by which they came to perform their functions in the global economy.

This book has built upon a series of UNU-sponsored regional research projects focused on mega-cities and is intended to aid both scholars and planners.

The Changing Nature of Democracy
Democracy has been promoted by globalizing forces as essential for the fulfilment of individual and collective aspirations and for nurturing healthy civil society. Yet this march of democratization has been highly contested, and there is little consensus on what democracy is or should be.

Editors Takashi Inoguchi, Edward Newman and John Keane have gathered essays which point to a broadening agenda for democracy, widening its sphere of applicability beyond the state enclosure. This book highlights the limitations and tensions of this worldwide movement.

Crucibles of Hazard: Mega-Cities and Disasters in Transition
As a result of repeated experiences with devastating earthquakes, storms, floods and fires, places like Tokyo, Mexico City, San Francisco and Los Angeles are identified with catastrophe in popular culture and scientific literature. Similar prospects face less obvious urban candidates like Dhaka, Miami, London, Koma, Seoul and Sydney.

This collaborative study of environmental risks in ten of the world's major cities discusses hazard experiences and future threats. Editor James K. Mitchell concludes that the disaster potential of the biggest cities is expanding at a pace which far exceeds their already explosive rates of growth. New amalgams of hazard are being created in metropolitan areas with overlapping natural, technological, biological and social risks, exposing more people and places to these threats.

Crucibles of Hazard argues in support of public policy and disaster management reforms that can be implemented quickly, and directs attention to issues of safety that must be resolved for urban sustainability.

United Nations Peace-keeping Operations: A Guide to French Policies
Editor Brigitte Stern has gathered a general, a legal scholar and a political scientist to examine France's participation from diverse perspectives.

The constitutional issues and the problems raised by parliamentary control of the finances of French foreign operations are among the topics this book covers. Appendices also provide a definitive listing of French foreign operations and their staffing, including casualties from these peace-keeping missions.

UNU Press donates 11,000 books to Chinese libraries

Dozens of major Chinese libraries from Beijing to Wuxi have each received a shipment of United Nations University Press books.

The Nippon Foundation donated over US$36,000 to underwrite the costs of shipping 114 sets of nearly a hundred selected titles from the Press' Hong Kong warehouse.

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