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How will the coronavirus affect globalisation? Show more Show less

World leaders now describe Covid-19 as the 'silent enemy'. Several have called the pandemic a 'war'. For the first time in history, every nation on Earth is battling a common foe. What this will mean for globalisation remains unknown. Global connectivity is, on the face of things, being eroded, as free movement stops and people 'stay and shelter'. Yet, the world is also increasingly united, as triumph depends on cooperation.

It will force us to re-imagine the international order Show more Show less

Free movement is a necessary condition for globalisation Without it, it's game over.
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Diminish 'the nation'

The crisis shows that states must depend on each other.
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coronavirus health nationalism pandemic politics

Context

'Globalisation' has almost fallen out of favour as a term to describe the world order. And now it's back. As its hallmarks are taken away, the pandemic is revealing how important they are to modern life. Trade, travel, healthy economies - the key elements of day to day living are now being stripped away. As Dharmendra Khanani writes, "The impact of the virus throws into sharp focus that there is no such thing as a nation-state in full and sovereign control of its finances, trade and supply chains – it has effectively blown out the water arguments used by the populist governments and those spouting the rhetoric of ‘taking control’ of our borders, laws and economies. Even though countries are putting up their borders – the virus has shown it is borderless. It has exposed the reality of global, continent-wide and pan-regional supply chains – and how all economies rely on these."[1]

The Argument

No state will come out of the crisis without the help of others. International cooperation is now being turned on its head. States are working together through knowledge sharing initiatives, and collaborative decision making. China has paved the way - sharing its insights with Italy and other European countries, as the virus has spread. In the face of the unknown, this type of peer-learning is crucial to overcoming Covid-19. For if it is not wiped out everywhere, no one is safe. Analissa Izon at the Overseas Development Institute puts this well, explaining "the unprecedented systemic challenges posed by the coronavirus crisis, and the responses we have already seen, will fast-track the transformation of an old paradigm of donor–recipient aid relations towards a model of international cooperation between all countries."[2]

Counter arguments

The virus has set the scene for the rise of nationalism. As countries act in ways totally at odds with one another, and sacrifice cooperation for protecting their own, policy priorities have come sharply into view. This reversion reveals the differences between our nations, rather than create an opportunity for international cooperation. As Politics Professor Jan Zielonka says, "The coronavirus outbreak seems to be reversing the course of history. Gone is globalisation and European integration. Back is the heroic struggle of states for national survival."[3]

Framing

Premises

[P1] The coronavirus must be overcome [P2] Overcoming the coronavirus depends on international collaboration [P3] International collaboration is more important to overcoming the virus than individual national efforts

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P2] Overcoming the coronavirus does not depend on international collaboration

Proponents

Further Reading

References

  1. https://www.friendsofeurope.org/insights/coronavirus-has-shattered-many-long-held-myths-about-globalisation/
  2. https://www.odi.org/blogs/16794-how-coronavirus-accelerating-new-approach-international-cooperation/
  3. https://www.socialeurope.eu/has-the-coronavirus-brought-back-the-nation-state/

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This page was last edited on Thursday, 2 Apr 2020 at 09:37 UTC