World social development has arrived at a critical turning point. Economically advanced nations have made significant progress toward meeting the basic needs of their populations; however, the majority of developing countries have not. Problems of rapid population growth, failing economies, famine, environmental devastation, majority/minority group conflicts, involuntary population migration, increasing militarization, and other broadly-based social, political and economic forces are challenging the capacity of people to meet their most fundamental needs. For many, the conditions required to live a quality life are being eroded. The thirteen papers contained in this volume explore a broad range of factors that impact on quality of life worldwide-globalization, regionalization, recently regained political autonomy, population migration, factors that contribute to health and illness, shortages in food and agriculture, the importance of the family, community and sustainable development in promoting quality of life and, even more fundamentally, the contribution of faith and spirituality in advancing personal and collective well-being in an otherwise turbulent world.

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