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COVID-19 and the crumbling world order

  • IASbaba
  • April 13, 2020
  • 0
UPSC Articles
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INTERNATIONAL/ GOVERNANCE

Topic: General Studies 1, 2 & 3:

  • Effects of globalization on Indian society. 
  • Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests
  • India’s Economic reforms and Investment models

COVID-19 and the crumbling world order

COVID-19 will fundamentally transform the world especially the following:

  • The world order
  • International Balance of power
  • The future of globalisation
  • Traditional conceptions of national security
  1. World Order
  • COVID-19 has exposed that global institutional framework are:
    • Pawn in the hands of the great powers (who created these institutions post WW-II)
    • Undemocratic and unrepresentative in its character
    • Cash-strapped to fight crisis of this scale 
    • Its agenda is focused on high-table security issues and are not designed to serve humanity at large.
  • Post-national regional arrangements like EU also stood clueless when the virus spread like wildfire in Europe. Its member states turned inward for solutions and not regional coordination.

Result

  • Credibility of the world institutions has been further eroded
  • The global institutional architecture of the 1940s cannot help humanity face the challenges of the 2020s. 
  • Need for new social contract between states and the international system
  1. Balance of Power
  • One country that is likely to come out stronger from this crisis is China
  • China’s industrial production is recovering even as other countries are taking a hit. 
  • The decline in oil prices will make China’s recovery even faster.
  • China appears to use its manufacturing power to its geopolitical advantage. 
    • Beijing has offered medical aid and expertise to those in need
    • China has increased cooperation with its arch-rival Japan

Result: 

  • Beijing’s claims to global leadership will be aided by its manufacturing power
  • It might push Huawei 5G trials as a side bargain
  • China might also showcase the Belt and Road Initiative as the future of global connectivity. 
  • COVID-19 will further push the international system into a world with Chinese characteristics.
  1. Future of Globalisation
  • Neoliberal economic globalisation will take a major beating as experts have predicted recession worse than 2008 crisis
  • The profits of big corporations will reduce, and the demand for stability will increase.
  • COVID-19 shock will further catalyse states’ protectionist tendencies fuelled by hyper nationalism. 
  • There will be an increased state intervention to avoid unpredictable supply sources, avoid geopolitically sensitive zones, and national demands for emergency reserves.

Result

  • Retreat of LPG: Licence-quoto-permit Raj can return
  • State to become omnipresent and omnipotent: Governments will gather more power and surveillance technologies to prevent future such shocks
  • State-led models of globalisation and economic development would be preferred over (big) corporates-led globalisation
  • New-age racism: Questions are likely to be asked about the source of goods and stringent imposition of phytosanitary measures by advanced states on products coming from developing countries
  • Impact on Indian Society: Moral claims based on birth & class and the associated notions about hygiene (purity) could become sharper

Conclusion

Globally, societies could become more self-seeking and inward-looking

Source: The Hindu

Connecting the dots:

  • Perils of Licence raj and Crony Capitalism
  • Impact of COVID-19 on India’s caste system

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