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‘Away From Facts, Towards Pure Emotion’ Happening Across The World – Pomeranstev
5 July, 2016
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What You Need To Know:

✓ The United Kingdom’s vote to leave the European Union set off internal political uncertainty while also adding more questions to Ukraine's own EU aspirations.

✓ Nowadays, the “tendency towards ‘away from facts and towards pure emotion’ is happening across the world;”

✓ Even in credible news outlets such as the BBC, the Remain and Leave campaigns presented two different narratives in parallel, with little debate or argument.

✓ Britain doesn’t “want to play foreign policy roles anymore. They just want to trade with other people who look and sound like them and escape modernity.”

The United Kingdom’s vote to leave the European Union set off internal political uncertainty while also adding more questions to Ukraine's own EU aspirations. Certain aspects of the campaign leading up to the vote were more reminiscent of Ukrainian politics than they were of what one would expect from a developed Western democracy. “At the moment, nobody knows what’s going on, we have no roadmap of the future, nobody’s in charge,” says Peter Pomerantsev, Author and Senior Fellow at the Legatum Institute. The Leave campaign played heavily to emotion, distorting and oftentimes ignoring basic facts of Brexit's economic effects.

Nowadays, the “tendency towards ‘away from facts and towards pure emotion’ is happening across the world,” says Pomeranstev, and it is a consequence of the way information is structured. He says that even in credible news outlets such as the BBC, the Remain and Leave campaigns presented two different narratives in parallel, with little debate or argument. And at the end of the day, more people were drawn “to the emotional identity narrative, not the economic one.”

While Pomerantsev sees a problem with the BBC approach and with journalists failing to push facts, he says something much bigger is going on like identity-based globalization which “doesn’t make sense financially but has much more of an emotional resonance.” He adds that the U.K., particularly Britain, has turned inward in recent years and doesn’t “want to play foreign policy roles anymore. They just want to trade with other people who look and sound like them and escape modernity.”

Hromadske’s Nataliya Gumenyuk spoke to Peter Pomerantsev, Author and Senior Fellow at the Legatum Institute via Skype in July 2016 in Kyiv.