Why Walls Don’t Work

Concrete Barriers Between Nations Offer Too-Easy Answers to Complex Global Problems

The end of the Cold War and the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989—25 years ago this week—led to the long-awaited development of a “global village” characterized by the free movement of goods, people, and information. But the last few decades have also seen global fragmentation, the symbol of which has been the silent multiplication of dividing walls throughout the world.

The erection of walls is certainly not a new phenomenon. For the most part, the oldest walls were defensive in nature, built with a military perspective. Alexander the …