By common consent, we are entering a new phase in human history. Thanks to globalization brought about by revolutionary changes in the means of transport and communication and expansionist capitalism, far-flung societies are increasingly being locked into a system of interdependence.1 They face common problems such as regulating the movement of capital and people, climate change, the environment, the spread of disease and terrorism, which require collective solutions. And their interests are intertwined to the extent that events in one country can have profound consequences in others thousands of miles away. The global reach of the media brings to us vivid images of the struggles and suffering of men and women in distant parts of the world, involves us in their lives, heightens our sense of shared humanity, and demands a response. As different societies come together, there is a deepening of diversity between and within them, and we need to find ways of coping with its challenges at both the domestic and the international level.
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