Global Crisis: A Shift in Global Order with Emergence of Symbiotic Relationship

COVID-19 has exposed the inability of present security mechanisms, regionally as well as internationally, to deal with a crisis of such unimaginable extent and nature. Where states kept on strengthening their defense and security mechanisms with technological advancements, post-1945 Human Security perspective kept on fading and is somewhere left unattended in recent decades. The prevailing panic situation across the globe and crashing credibility of governments’ securing their societies, is factually due to the outbreak of spontaneous challenge which was not earlier thought to be happening with such a devastating impact. Thus, the current pandemic forces the governing bodies from all around the globe to reconsider their preferences of security paradigms.

In the wake of COVID-19 and consequent reversing of globalization, the new isolationism is temporarily under process. As the concept suggests, isolationism is the state’s reluctance to international engagement and commitments while having an inward-looking policy. It is, in other words, the reduced diplomatic activity. This emerging isolationist approach is less like American isolationism as its core cause resides in human social limitations rather than that of a state. With a core objective of securing humanity from this existential threat, states are encouraged to deal it individually yet collectively struggle for a common cause worldwide.

After 1945 atomic bombing of Japan and ensuring human catastrophe, the current pandemic is the second major event that emphasizes the pre-dominant significance of human security perspective in broader security mechanisms of the globe. Highlighting the current scenario, none around the world had anticipated the Wuhan crisis to be transforming into global crisis and kept watching the spectacle till it became their own nightmare in matter of days. Neither realized the actual lack of proactive and crisis managing leaderships in countries like Italy and Spain. Now, the United States faces the same challenge. It is evident that none of the country was ready for such calamity.This spontaneous global pandemic has exposed the true crisis management and organizational capacity of almost all the sovereign states around the world irrespective of technological or economic superiorities. It highlights the significance of degree of intra-coherent nature of national governments and social structures of their societies.

While, international community and organizations can only assist and emphasize unity, it’s the national governments which can play significant role in generating a complex symbiotic relationship from all across the globe.In recent remarks, Secretary-General António Guterres urged worldwide solidarity in facing the crisis and observed that coordination of global responses would help to conquer the virus. Once the emergency situation lowers, the Council may wish to thematically consider a briefing on the various security and humanitarian preferences post COVID-19. Thus, international community can only act as secondary or assisting body while the governments are the primary doers.

The temporary isolationist approach discussed above is likely to vanish soon after the normalization process begins whether it’s with natural or artificial remedial options. The following time period would be decisive in terms of global shift in security preferences and could give birth to new era of mutual benefit among nations. States could and would be wise enough to learn from nature and opt a symbiotic relationship among each other globally. Type of symbiotic relationship here is Mutualism which promotes a beneficial relationship between two parties. Multiple mutualism exists between more than two parties/organizations/states. This outbreak has reminded states of being globalized entities with inter-connected survivability.

Post-COVID-19 world demands a less offensive and more cooperative world with a major shift from state to human security perspective. While keeping the human security perspective in view, a soon to emerge new world order after the pandemic is over, would be focused on health assisting mechanisms for the countries worse affected. Countries with effective management and capable of making proactive decisions in this crisis would rather be taken as examples to learn from. There would be a major transition in states’ repute and position in global world order based on these capabilities. Major and sophisticated powers might not be considered as major anymore in true sense owing to how inadequately they performed during this calamity. This whole transition alludes to a world rapidly moving towards a multipolarity with equal status. 

Hananah Zarrar
Hananah Zarrar
Hananah Zarrar is a Researcher at Centre for Aerospace and Security Studies (CASS), Islamabad. She holds an MPhil degree with major area of interest in Strategic and Nuclear Affairs.