New system: the world after the pandemic

Новая система: каким будет мир после пандемииThe established order is under threat — in the last month of such statements from politicians of different levels and representatives of the expert community were many. However, to describe this “new world” details no one can. What are they afraid of the politicians and what issues from their point of view, will have to face the States after the completion of the pandemic coronavirus — a review “Газеты.Ru”.

Pandemic coronavirus has set world policy questions, not only about the efficiency of health systems, but also with respect to the evaluation criteria of quality of work of the governments of the various States. In the past month, the scientists and economists are actively discussing what the world after a pandemic, and who will come out of this situation a winner. And if the economic consequences are relatively clear — the national economy is expected to shrink, the level of production and consumption can be significantly reduced, and will be most affected enterprises are small and medium business, — the political effects of the pandemic, predictions not so clear.

“When the pandemic COVID-19 over, companies in many countries will be accepted as failed. The reality is that the world will never be the same after the coronavirus,” wrote the American diplomat Henry Kissinger in the beginning of April.

The new world order about which Kissinger writes, is the decline in the level of confrontation between participants in international processes, as well as enhancing the role of the individual States.

Globalization under attack

However, the main issue in these arguments becomes the future of globalization. After the first shock of the reactions of political systems the world has gone the way of insulation, which highlighted two main problems. First — how United was the allied relations within the associations. The same European Union as a supranational structure suffered a series of reputational defeats in the face of actions by individual European governments.

The second is the effectiveness of the authorities in individual countries. As practice shows, centralized state with a strong power was more capable of rapid and coordinated response to the threat of a pandemic.

On the other hand, pandemic coronavirus is a transboundary, and therefore the search for solutions within a particular state not only does not solve it at the global level, but not hedged against the risk of such situations in the future.

“The need for international coordination is confirmed by the fact that currently, a similar international organization or an effective mechanism at the global level does not exist. The inability of the UN to develop any solutions to resolve this crisis because of disagreements about the name of the virus and the absence of a decision of the Security Council [UN] for the suspension of sanctions in the current conditions, are also evidence that problems with collaboration are,” writes for the discussion club “Valdai” Mehdi Sanaei, associate Professor of international relations at Tehran University, a senior adviser to the foreign Minister of Iran and former Iranian Ambassador to Russia.

Here, however, it is worth noting that the sanctions issue is Tehran rather serious economic problems have led to mass protests at the end of last year, and the confrontation with the U.S. in the early 2020 almost called a new military conflict in the middle East (at least, such prospects seriously enough discussed in the expert community).

A number of analysts believe that the interdependence between the continents (the globalization) is to ensure that communication between countries is not much affected. More precisely, economic aspects such as trade or financial flows will be reduced, but the political consequences will not be dramatic, as politicians tend to say different levels in different countries. So, for example, says Harvard Professor Joseph Nye, Jr. (published in Foreign Policy magazine).

Incompetence Trump

However, in Europe not all share the optimism of American scientists. For example, a columnist for the Italian La Stampa’s Maurizio Molinari argues that

the balance of power among States essentially will adjust, and it will be connected mainly with the efficiency of the reaction to the spread of the virus in each individual state.

“Those States that have demonstrated the best ability to solve the issues related to the pandemic will emerge from this global crisis, becoming stronger politically, while the country’s proved himself worse, will weaken,” he said.

Thus, the political system in the near future will be evaluated on the basis of new criteria: the efficiency of the health system, the speed of administrative reaction, technological development and social cohesion, says Molinari.

In this configuration, more than others may be affected by the administration of Donald trump, or — even more broadly — the U.S. position as the sole center of power, able to influence all processes in the world.

American political scientists do not hide their disappointment with the actions of the White house, calling Washington’s response to the pandemic incompetent that already have caused some reputational damage to the United States.

On the other hand, Europe, which in terms of worldview is with the United States single space of the West, was also faced with the problem of disconnection of their actions in the face of coronavirus.

And even the combined attempts to establish a Fund to combat the pandemic reveal the internal contradictions which had grown in relations between EU members — the countries of old Europe couldn’t agree on how and on what terms to distribute finances.

New centers of power?

However, if we assume the idea that the configuration of the main centers of power change, a natural question arises — what the state can play an important role in the world “after the coronavirus”. Upon closer consideration in the information space again there is a confrontation between the U.S. and China. Washington accuses Beijing that he initially hid the extent of the infection, and even trying to create mechanisms to attract China to account for it.

The logic of the current us government in this sense is relatively clear: how Donald trump will be able to respond to current challenges and to overcome the consequences for the US economy, depends largely on the fate of his presidential campaign which is already underway in the United States.

China is trying to minimize reputational costs due to the ensuing campaign against him in the Western media. At the same time and the Beijing faced with the shocking impact caused by the outbreak of coronavirus. In mid-April, China reported that GDP had decreased by 6.8% — the negative dynamics of China have not been recorded since 1992.

However, China has, in General, coped with the task of stopping the spread of infection, as well as providing assistance to the affected countries (as, indeed, and Russia, where at this stage it is possible to avoid a dramatic scenario). USA at the same time have serious resources to mitigate the economic consequences of the pandemic.

Therefore, according to the columnist for South China Morning Post Irvin Studin, USA, China and Russia in the future can play a crucial role in rebuilding the international order after the country cope with the outbreak of coronavirus.

“These three countries are nowadays not only the most powerful in the strategic, military, and in the case of two of them even in economic terms, but it is also those countries whose leadership thinks and acts in a certain way — they are determined to “create rules”. Each of them has an effective veto against plans to change the world the other two,” writes the author.

However, the cooperation of Washington, Beijing and Moscow will be complicated by the increasing weakening of confidence between them, and the increasing role of the “ideological beliefs” in the structure assessment of the actions of their opponents.

In General, in this situation, a growing number of scientists strengthens the idea that the trends on the basis of which to develop international relations in the last few years, only stronger and more clearly manifested, and new approaches not currently add up. And this is connected primarily with the fact that the political life in many countries of the world at the moment receded into the background, and politicians focus on addressing the pandemic and attempts to assess the economic impacts caused by a coronavirus.

“It is difficult to judge the change of world order after the pandemic, since the decline of industry and the economy is not very serious. The main political and social institutions is not corrupted, therefore to speak about any global changes I would not — said “Газете.Ru” the Director General of the Center for political information Alexei Mukhin. I think the people who make such predictions, I take quite serious risks.

The system of international relations collapsed before epidemiological threat, so it will have to be rebuilt anyway. It will depend on how long the United States and China will simulate a trade war and what are their plans for the rest of the world”.

At the same time, periodically it is suggested that the coronavirus pandemic was the “black Swan” — hard to predict and rare event that has significant consequences. This view, however, does not agree with the author of this theory, Nassim Taleb, argues that the spread of infection can be predicted, and the negative effects avoided.

“This is not a black Swan, and white. I am annoyed by people who say that this is a black Swan. We had black swans in history. The September 11 attacks were definitely the black Swan”, he said.


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