A Scan of Critical World Developments
Brexit sent shockwaves throughout Western capitals as UK voters opted to withdraw from the European Union, putting the larger European project into question. Advocates of global governance have often seen the EU (and kindred experiments at regional integration) as a stepping stone. It has brought to the continent stronger environmental, health, and human rights regulations, and, perhaps most significantly given its origins from the ashes of World War Two, it has kept the peace. However, the EU, like many international and supranational institutions, has suffered from a democratic deficit. The disempowerment caused by the top-down, market-driven globalization dominant today—and the fiscal austerity that has often come with it—has created fertile ground for the rise of scapegoating and xenophobia, as seen in other elections across Europe (and the United States) as well. The Brexit vote is a wake-up call about the risks of the Conventional Worlds path, and the real possibility of a descent into a Fortress World future. Global interdependence is inevitable (and, indeed, morally desirable), but the question remains, globalization for whom? In light of the Brexit vote, the fight for a democratic and socially just vision of globalization becomes all the more important.