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Tyler Cowen

The First Global U.S. Presidential Election

It is striking how much the entire planet paid attention to both the results and the reaction.

Local news in Pakistan.

Local news in Pakistan.

Photographer: ARIF ALI/AFP

Was last week’s U.S. presidential contest between Joe Biden and Donald Trump the first global election?

America’s presidential election has always attracted an outsized share of the world’s attention, of course, especially in recent years. Still, it is striking how much the entire planet seems to have taken part in both the proceedings and the reaction this year. Across Europe there have been church bells ringing, fireworks and celebrations, along with some degree of dismay. My friends there have e-mailed me with their opinions, congratulations and questions about what happens next.