When the Berlin Wall fell in the autumn of 1989, it felt like the beginning of a sea change in global geopolitics. Borders were beginning to fade, globalization was starting to take root. The concrete barrier had snaked around one of Europe’s most historic capitals for decades, cleaving a city in two and separating thousands of families, friends, and loved ones basically overnight. When the wall came down, Germany was suddenly on its way toward reunification–and it felt like the rest of the globe couldn’t be far behind. That movement never came to pass. When the Berlin Wall crumbled that November night three decades ago, there were only 15 border walls in the world. Today there are 70, with 7 more proposed or in progress. Border walls have gone up in places like Hungary, Kenya, and Morocco. And, as you might have heard, Donald Trump’s proposed budget for a 1,600-mile wall along the U.S.-Mexico border has shut down the American government, as politicians argue over whether spending $5 billion on “steel slats” is a worthy use of taxpayer money while crucial infrastructure like bridges and highways crumble. Far from heralding the end of borders, the fall of the Berlin Wall… Read full this story
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