Covid-19 has the potential to shape up the world order. What are the t...
May 14, 2020
Covid-19 has the potential to shape up the world order. What are the trends which would shape the post-COVID-19 world? Examine.
The COVID-19 pandemic began as a global health crisis. As it spread rapidly across nations, country after country responded with a lockdown, triggering a global economic crisis.
The 2008 financial crisis showed the resilience of the Asian economies, and even today, economic forecasts indicate that out of the G-20 countries, only China and India are likely to register economic growth during 2020.
At the same time there are different geopolitical trends emerging in the world due to this covis-19 crisis.
One, the USA has been the world leader since early times of 20th century now countries were losing trust in the U.S.’s leadership, due to it’s response to the pandemic and always reciting the phrases of “America first” which sometimes also resonates as “America alone”.
The U.S. still remains the largest economy and the largest military power but has lost the will and ability to lead.
This mood is unlikely to change, whatever the outcome of the election later this year.
Second, Europe has its own tensions like BREXIT and is finding it increasingly difficult to reach agreement on political matters e:g relations with Russia and China.
The EU will need considerable soul searching to rediscover the limits of free movement of goods, services, capital and people, the underlying theme of the European experiment of shared sovereignty.
Third, Asian countries have also demonstrated greater agility in tackling the pandemic compared to the United States and Europe.
A fourth trend, related to the first, is the emergence of a stronger and more assertive China.
While China’s growing economic role has been visible since it joined the World Trade Organization at the turn of the century, its more assertive posture has taken shape under President Xi Jinping’s leadership with the call that a rejuvenated China is now ready to assume global responsibilities.
Chinese assertiveness has raised concerns, first in its neighbourhood, and now in the U.S. that feels betrayed because it assisted China’s rise in the hope that an economically integrated China would become politically more open.
In recent years, the U.S.-China relationship moved from cooperation to competition; and now with trade and technology wars, it is moving steadily to confrontation.
In addition to these trends, now, a looming economic recession and depressed oil prices will exacerbate internal tensions in West Asian countries which are solely dependent on oil revenues.
Long-standing rivalries in the region have often led to local conflicts but can now create political instability in countries where regime structures are fragile.
The final trend relates to energy politics. Growing interest in renewables and green technologies on account of climate change concerns, and the U.S. emerging as a major energy producer were fundamentally altering the energy markets.
Rising nationalism and protectionist responses will prolong the economic recession into a depression, sharpening inequalities and polarisations. Greater unpredictability and more turbulent times lie ahead.