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In Europe consensus has broken down and conflicting visions of society have returned. Traditional centre-left and centre-right parties are forced today to join forces through grand-coalitions or republican pacts in order to ensure governability or keep insurgent parties at bay. A radicalism of discourse has returned, denouncing the status quo as a sham and a scandal. We should welcome this change.
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Economic borders are as powerful as political and military ones, though they are limited by the systemic interdependence of States which, in a world as interconnected as ours is, can produce varied and unexpected outcomes.

According to the 2012 EIU index, one half of the world's population now lives in a democracy of some sort. However, in recent years there has been backsliding on previously attained progress in democratisation, also as result of the global financial crisis that started in 2008. Nevertheless, only 11% reside in full democracies. More than one third of the world's population still live under authoritarian rule.