Foreign relations breaking down amidst the Segmentation Century

Published: Tuesday, June 5 2012 12:00 a.m. MDT

David Brooks writes in The New York Times about the polarization of belief, religion and economics in the U.S. and the world.

"The United States is a single nation with a common history, a common currency and a strong identity. Yet the country has become more polarized, not less. The country has become more difficult to govern, not less."

"If you look at the World Values Survey, you see that people in most Western nations are becoming more distrustful of their neighbors, not less. There are huge variations across nations, but levels of social and political trust have been declining almost everywhere except the Nordic countries. If theres convergence, in other words, its in our increasing agreement that we dont trust each other."

"The larger issue is, how will the world cope with its own segmentation? How do you govern amid divergence? If multilateral organizations cant bind nations, do we simply resort to an era of regional hegemons or chaos?"

Read more about disintegrating foreign relations on The New York Times.

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