Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Diplomatist|May 2020
The crisis has brought three issues to surface that need careful consideration and action: containment of the pandemic, economic implication of the crisis, and the erosion of the rule of law. The response to the pandemic so far has been on the national level. States have resolved to use national instruments and measures to contain the spread of the virus by placing countrywide lockdowns, banning international and domestic travels, and mobilising their health system. The actions of the states have only furthered Trump’s neoconservative assertions synonymous with the rise of right-wing political parties across the world.
The varied responses by the states to the pandemic in terms of approaching the crisis as a health concern or as an economic issue lays bare the underlying confusion in terms of what takes precedence – individuals or economy? This was evident in certain governments’ hesitance to impose lockdowns fearing economic losses or the burden of releasing fiscal packages, the recovery of which might just take years.
While states might emerge victorious in containing and ultimately defeating the pandemic, the economic and political implications of the pandemic might be tough to battle. Some analysts are hailing the true end of globalisation as observed from the events unfolding from the pandemic. Greater economic interdependence because of globalisation branded with neoliberal principles is now under question as the demands for medical supplies coincide with supply chain disruptions. With lockdowns imposed, production stalled and a country struggling to meet local needs, exports is definitely out of the question. Governments, irrespective of whether liberal democracy or authoritarian, in the next few years, will work tirelessly in rebuilding the national economies instead of an interdependent global economy – the false promise of neoliberal agenda. Priorities will shift, from international to domestic.
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