The contagiousness of coronavirus epitomize how globalized our world is, virus hit the world during most unpleasant times of ours characterized by hike in right wing politics, populist leadership, nation's first parties, and wherein withdrawal from global trade, debates like nationalism versus globalism was an order of the day.
It was on January 4 when WHO tweeted its first warning about coronavirus outbreak but if things are being viewed from contextualist vista one may argue that prior to this ongoing pandemic global coordinating mechanism was under fire from populist- leadership around the world spearheaded by US president Donald Trump who since his entry into White House has been unequivocally decrying multilateralism, regional and international organizations, treaties/accords recent example of sorts is his announcement of halting American funding for WHO thereby drastically declining these institutions in power and authority.
As aforesaid that discussions like repudiation of globalism or deglobalization aren’t peculiar to this pandemic but of course we need to admit the fact that pandemic does exacerbated such discussions , writings that seem to suggest that pandemic is going to throw globalization into dustbin of history deliberately or reluctantly have missed the point that even amid pandemic we do witness globalization with its novel manifestations at work here it becomes sort of customary on my part to validate my viewpoint so let me cite few examples here, surge in ongoing “Donation Diplomacy” lead by china, many national and multinational companies can be seen in taking a lead in donating stuff like masks, goggles, swabs and at times planeloads of ventilators to different parts of world.
Experts in public health sector have been sharing of ideas, R&D with respect to potential vaccine, Cuban example is noteworthy country that has been sending its doctors around the world to fight covid, philanthropistic foundations around the globe having been paying for researchers seeking treatments, statisticians around the globe are working together to provide the best of information that one can rely upon and I believe that during circumstances like these plausible data is no less important than vaccine when it comes to tackling this pandemic.
It definitely is difficult to pinpoint how exactly post pandemic world is going to look like but if history is any guide arguments like “wholesale transformation of world order” and sweeping statements like globalization into reverse gear doesn’t seem to hold much water because prior to this ongoing crisis world had witnessed crisis before though not of same magnitude and dimension but one thing that seems common in almost all crisis is that pundits across the board indulge in prophesying about future course of events most vivid example of such exercise that is worth a mention is 2009 financial crisis during which sloganeering like “we are all socialists now” was in vogue but unfolding of subsequent events renders sloganeering like this as inconsistent with the reality hence it would be hyperbolic representation of an events to claim that pandemic is enough to push globalization into dustbin of history Campbell Harvey a Canadian economist and an expert on recession recently in an interview with POLITICO Magazine argued that “we are going to have a historical comeback with tens of millions of jobless workers suddenly reporting back to their employees”.
But it also will sound imprudent to argue that this pandemic doesn’t even qualify to cause minor changes in ways and manners our world functions MNC’S, tech companies & many other key companies that are using e-commerce are going to change the ways they used to operate in that case Twitter has become the very first tech company to make ‘’work from home’’ permanent for its employees many tech giants, hirers are expected to follow suit.
Stance on issues like migration, unrestricted free trade, single markets, et cetera are going to witness hardline approach U.S.A had already signed an executive order that temporarily suspends immigration into U.S.A. Populist leadership around the world is already having their lifetime opportunity to fire ammunition of rhetoric against open-borders and migrant’s pandemic has escalated there advocacy of withdrawal from global trade, IMF and world bank reports suggests that investment flows are also going to drop.
One of the most probable & optimistic retort that one can think of is that the agents that used to drive the motor of globalization might be going out of the vogue for a while but consequentially this is going to give rise to new stimulating factors of globalization that will give new lease of life to the process and anticipatedly world will usher in a new global cooperation.
We are living in a world characterized by what Robert O.Keohane and Joseph S. Nye calls “Complex Interdependence” wherein cost of policies like “beggar the neighbor” in long run would outweigh the benefits global-outsourcing, globalized division of labor today forms the essence of MNCs, so the companies that mostly rely on labors around the world, enterprises doing their stuff via internet are most unlikely to wither away.
Once this pandemic is hopefully over world after that is going to be in a dire need of more cooperation, collaboration, global warning and response system than ever because the solution to the global problems can only be global trifling differences that nations have must be rendered insignificant when it comes to carving out solutions to the problems that are global in nature and impact, crisis does disrupt societies the way they operate but at the same time they also provide an opportunity to build future that is more resilient and sustainable as Arundhati Roy aptly puts it that “pandemic is portal, a gateway between one world & the next”.
Besides this ongoing pandemic many local and global crisis seemed to impend we surely need leadership, more resources and more powers to tackle any crisis that we might encounter in near future, global institutions that already persists need a makeover for sure in order to make them more equitable, accessible, accountable and robust that will aid its swiftness in response and simultaneously make it more efficient and less vulnerable one thing that we need to admit is that we definitely cannot afford to do away with global coordinating mechanism we need to change it and we need to change it for good and this isn’t a matter of choice but an emergency.