In June, British voters elected to leave the European Union—commonly referred to as “Brexit”—exiting the single market system that has unified European economies since 1992. The results have shocked the world, shaking the confidence of many who long heralded the European Union as the best example for the benefits of global economic integration. Government officials, analysts, and businesspeople are busy trying to predict the consequences, hedge bets, and plan for an uncertain future.
One of the lessons being drawn from the Brexit vote is the level of discontent with an increasingly globalized world, where many people feel less in control of their own countries—a sentiment that impacts how people feel about immigration, economics, and trade. We see this phenomenon playing out in debates over trade deals in the United States and elsewhere around the world where countries are attempting to shape the forces of economic integration.This article was originally published in The Diplomat.