What is it about?

Globalization has taken place for several decades and the world has become a connected place. As researchers are on the frontline to explore world (or global) issues, it is crucial to understand what research has been done and what the emerging topics relating to social, political, economic, and environmental dimensions are. This study investigates the trend and emerging topics of world (or global) issues using a bibliometric approach.

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Why is it important?

The study's findings show that the number of publications on world (or global) issues has increased over the last five decades, particularly after 2001. They revealed that world (or global) issues should be multidisciplinary in nature, as the identified articles were categorized into a wide range of subject areas, including: “Social Sciences”, “Environmental Science”, “Business, Management and Accounting”, “Earth and Planetary Sciences”, etc. Co-occurrence of keywords revealed two major streams of research, namely: “sustainable development and climate change” and “environmental protection, economics, and politics”. Additionally, corporate social responsibility, governance approach, and COVID-19 were identified as emerging keywords in recent years.


Writing this article was enlightening because the findings confirmed that world (or global) issues should be addressed by multidisciplinary and/or cross-disciplinary approaches, implying that researchers should expand their focus beyond traditional academic boundaries and work with fellow researchers from a diverse range of disciplines. It is particularly true that social, political, economic, and environmental interests from different stakeholders/groups cannot be easily reconciled and have to be tackled holistically/multi-dimensionally.

Professor W.M. To
Macao Polytechnic University

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This page is a summary of: A Bibliometric Analysis of World Issues—Social, Political, Economic, and Environmental Dimensions, World, August 2022, MDPI AG, DOI: 10.3390/world3030034.
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