There are mounting developments in world affairs that threaten to disrupt the progress of globalism. Britain decided to leave the European Union in a national referendum held June 23. Consequently the world’s major stock markets tumbled and the pound plummeted. British Prime Minister David Cameron stepped down to take responsibility for the Brexit vote. Theresa May, his successor, formed a new Cabinet designed to carry out the exit policy.
In retrospect, the EU has long been considered the model for regional integration and also a major driving force to help establish globalism around the world. So a string of difficult negotiations will likely ensue over Britain’s withdrawal. Some of the other EU members might follow suit. The wheels have begun to spin backward.
Meanwhile, the U.S. presidential race is being held against the background of expanding income gaps and mounting discontent among poorer Americans.
Such dissatisfaction among voters threaten to turn U.S. politics more inward-looking and diminish the American role in international affairs. The United States might become unwilling to ratify the Trans-Pacific Partnership and begin to contribute less to global security. The U.S. middle class is shrinking, and the prevailing public sentiment is getting more confrontational.
China is making expansionary moves in the South China Sea and the East China Sea on the strength of its economic power and military buildup. An international arbitration tribunal ruled against China’s land reclamation in the South China Sea, but Beijing has rejected its decision. While the U.S., Japan and South Korea are increasingly alarmed by China’s moves, Beijing is maintaining a hard-line stance and is attempting to create a fait accompli on the back of its economic strength.