The International Order Post Covid-19 Pandemic

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The question that preoccupies many researchers in international relations today is whether the world is witnessing a shift in the structure of the international order after the end of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The pandemic of the emerging Coronavirus has begun to affect regional and international balances and stimulate questions that affect the reality and future of the international system.”

With the emergence of indications of the declining position of the US on the international scene. How the pandemic might reshape the global order, including prospects for international cooperation. Some anticipate accelerated US decline and the advent of a more multipolar world. Others predict a deepening authoritarian turn worldwide.

Since the demise of the Soviet Union, the West has pursued an open, free, rule-based and truly globalised international order. In retrospect, despite the setback in the 2008 financial crisis, we thought those efforts were almost successful. It is Covid-19 that is undermining the process of globalisation.

“The crisis of the outbreak of the new Coronavirus, revealed the extent of America’s leading role in the world, as it proved that the US did not succeed in leading the world as the only pole in the global order.”

After Covid-19, the world will witness many changes and a new multipolar system will be formed, and there will be an acceleration in the transfer of the centre of power and influence from the West, to Asian countries, especially China, Singapore and South Korea.

As well, the countries will change their priorities. After the focus during the past decades on military and economic power as a priority for them, the pandemic has rethought the concept of force in its holistic form, taking into account health, knowledge and education.

The New Global Order Book

Indeed, during the health crisis, globalization has come under very sharp criticism, because the pandemic has spawned new barriers at breathtaking speed. Closed borders, quarantine imposed on people, travel bans, paralysed supply chains, and export restrictions have prompted many to ask whether globalisation itself might fall victim to the Coronavirus. It’s the worst pandemic the world has known since the Spanish flu of 1918-1920, causing an unprecedented economic recession.

In the thirty years that have passed since the end of the Cold War, the world has faced two serious economic crises, in 1997–1998 and 2008–2009. Most experts previously expressed the view that extreme liberalism negatively affects the economic well-being of citizens, the power of large industrial and financial corporations must be limited, and the market should be periodically regulated by the state.

The global crisis facing us in 2020 is the worst pandemic the world has seen since the Spanish flu of 1918-1920 swept across the globe, causing an unprecedented economic recession.

“Unlike the 2008 global recession, when world leaders banded together to save the global financial system from collapse, the Coronavirus pandemic has not been met with a unified, globalized response.”

The impact of the pandemic Covid-19 poses fundamental questions: How will the pandemic influence the international order globalization in the future? How the pandemic might reshape the world order, including prospects for international cooperation? Can the pandemic accelerate the US decline and the advent of a more multipolar world?

“The health crisis linked to the Covid-19 epidemic should lead us to define new criteria for decision-making in terms of global economic governance,” said Thomas Piquetti. Its suggest that globalization must again be governed. Globalization is currently in a crisis, and consequently, the countries of the world must reshape their contents and goals, based on social and humanitarian solidarity.

The pandemic has touched developed and developing countries alike and has seen the infrastructure in European Union countries crumble in the face of Covid-19.

In an analysis for Foreign Policy magazine, Richard Fontaine said: “the nature of globalization’s next phase of globalization will be the larger question against which many of the most important political debates of the coming years will play out.” The world must rethink the future of globalization because the pandemic will accelerate the transformation.

France and Germany have not only suspended cross-border travel but also banned the export of face masks. In Europe, isolationist policies, self-protective national policies have emerged amid the crisis.

Both France and Germany have refused to provide medical supplies to more vulnerable European Union countries such as Greece, while Cuba offered to help Europe in its battle against the pandemic. Cuba’s offer came despite ongoing sanctions and economic blockade, indicating that the European Union is no longer an example of solidarity or cooperation.

In this case, Thomas R. Pickering and Atman M. Trivedi said: “As the novel Coronavirus pandemic has spread around the world, international organizations, struggling to keep pace with the virus’s impact, seem to have lost some of the relevance and the utility they once had. The five permanent members of the UN Security Council have failed to hold a virtual summit on coordinating the virus response. The G-20 and the G-7 have been unable to reach even basic decisions on the global economic recovery”.

The world now faces a new form of “non-solidarity” globalization between the countries of the North and the countries of the global South. Another dangerous global trend emerging amid the pandemic is the “brutal” economic globalization that characterizes the trade war between the US and China, each party seeking to establish The New Global Order.

The two superpowers have, however, both proven unable to coordinate effectively on a large international scale due to the health crisis. The world’s health crisis has proven the absence of international solidarity, and states have been closed to themselves, or as the French sociologist Edgar Morin called it “selfish closure”.

It is a national challenge that once again raises the relationship of sovereignty to globalization. Countries have given up part of their sovereignty in favour of globalization without translating this abandonment into economic and social solidarity. In this regard, we are very afraid of the widespread of the epidemic in third world countries, especially in Africa. The pandemic could be a game-changer for poorer countries with limited resources and people in conflict zones.

On this basis, globalization will experience a crisis after the Corona pandemic. Robert Kaplan said: “The second phase of globalization is different. Globalization 2.0 is about separating the globe into great-power blocs with their own burgeoning militaries and separate supply chains, about the rise of autocracies, and about social and class divides that have engendered nativism and populism, coupled with middle-class angst in Western democracies. In sum, it is a story about new and re-emerging global divisions, more friendly to pessimists.”

As we expect, Covid-19 will be the most important political and economic event that will launch most of the potential geopolitical unrest in the next decade. Therefore, we hope that the world will have an opportunity to set a new model for globalization and establish an alternative international order that pushes the economies of countries towards solidarity and equitable globalization for the welfare of humanity.

“The extremists will probably be the winners in the post Covid-19 world.”

The current international order has shown that it has failed to save the world from the pandemic and to adopt sustainable development rules is facing various environmental and epidemiological threats that the world may face in the future, and protecting the gains of democracy that are at risk due to emergencies.

The pandemic will certainly highlight the risks inherent in overdependence on global supply chains, prompt a renationalization of production, and put stress on the notion of international interdependence. The likely result is an acceleration of changes that have long been in motion toward a new, different, and more limited form of globalization.

The challenge in the future is to take the international order in the right direction by regulating and attenuating the burdens of globalization, will require stronger international cooperation. The threat of the pandemic has created a global crisis, the world must create mechanisms to respond to disease through effective international cooperation.

Moreover, the pandemic would make the movements of nationalism, populism, xenophobism and racial or religious discrimination, much more hideous. The extremists will probably be the winners in the post Covid-19 world.

In this regard, Covid-19 may change the logic and perspectives of geopolitics in the years to come. Stewart M. Patrick said: “world politics, like nature, abhors a vacuum. When the United States abandons its share of global leadership, others will fill that space-though not necessarily in its entirety-and their visions may diverge significantly from America’s.”

The world will know a New Global Order after Coronavirus, especially after the failure of the US to lead the world, through its inability to manage the health crisis and achieve development, security, stability and democracy in many countries, especially in the Arab and Islamic world, which calls for the necessity of reshaping The New Global Order on an ethical basis that establishes right and justice.

Notes:

  • Kuni  Miyake: The post-COVID-19 international order,  April 20, 2020 https://www.japantimes.co.jp/opinion/2020/04/20/commentary/world-commentary/post-covid-19-international-order/#.XuvQzWgzaM8.
  • Farid Shafiev: The Architecture of International Relations After COVID-19: A Return to the ‘New Normal’, April 28, 2020 https://valdaiclub.com/a/highlights/the-architecture-of-international-relations-after-/.
  • Thomas Piketty’s intervention, published on L’Obs, Mars 15, 2020.  https://www.nouvelobs.com/economie/20200315.OBS26069/crise-.
  • Thomas R. Pickering and Atman M. Trivedi: The United States and China Are Its Crucial Pillars, May 14, 2020. https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/world/2020-05-14/international-order-didnt-fail-pandemic-alone .
  • Edgar Morin: Le confinement peut nous aider à commencer une détoxification de notre mode de vie, L’Obs. https://www.nouvelobs.com/coronavirus-de- wuhan/20200318.OBS26214/edgar-morin-le-confinement-peut-nous-aider-a-commencer-une-detoxification-de-notre-mode-de-vie.html.
  • Robert D. Kaplan : Coronavirus Ushers in the Globalization We Were Afraid Of, Bloomberg  , 20 mars  2020. https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2020-03-20/coronavirus-ushers-in-the-globalization-we-were-afraid-of.
  • Richard Fontaine : Globalization Will Look Very Different After the Coronavirus Pandemic, April 17, 2020. https://foreignpolicy.com/2020/04/17/globalization-trade-war-after-coronavirus-pandemic
  • Stewart M. Patrick :The World Order After COVID-19 Hinges on What Kind of America Emerges ,May 11, 2020 https://www.worldpoliticsreview.com/articles/28751/the-world-order-after-covid-19-hinges-on-what-kind-of-america-emerges.

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