Throughout the world, societies are facing dramatic and rapid change—demographically, socially, technologically, politically and economically. These changes are often accompanied by transformations in justice policy and practice. Protecting the freedom and liberty of citizens, ensuring justice, and maintaining public safety can create practical, ideological, and social tensions both within and between nations. International, comparative and multi-cultural perspectives are needed to address many of today's pressing world issues, from human rights abuses, to transnational crime, and ethnic conflicts.
The forces driving social change in this century affect all countries. When crime has no national borders, international cooperation seems a rational response—a move which is welcomed by many governments. At the same time, embracing international identities and cooperation to combat crime or to further social justice can conflict with local governmental policies and practices or with local social norms.
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