>> Ad hoc customization for individual parts done by different authors,
>> such as
>> will make trouble even if each article is enclosed in its own group and
>> there are many ways for this kind of trouble to come up.
Isn't this the sort of construct that LaTeX implicitly proscribes?
If there were a clean LaTeX method (there probably is!) for achieving
the effect without the need for \global hacks, then all would be well.