The 3 big shifts of Post COVID-19 world


Thomas Friedman in a conversation, Off the Cuff with Shekhar Gupta talked about three pandemics of the world that he had lived with—9/11, 2008 financial crisis and COVID-19. True! All these powerful events have a worldwide impact and influence. 9/11 forwarded a notion of “war against terror” and had targeted for certain religious believes. The advent of Social Media and booming globalization has made extremist groups advantageous to organize, implement and promote their radical values. Many foreign governments around the world afterwards had stressed the urgency of fighting against terrorism. Since, then every global conference has an agenda of “Terrorism”. All credits goes to the US administration influencing such policies globally after 9/11.  2008 financial crisis raised a question of “leaving market alone” or under “government regulation”. Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform & Consumer Protection Act was introduced aftermath to end “too big to fail” in the US financial system. Rise of socialism in the US speeded right after this crisis. Bernie Sanders became the dreamer of the Norwegian fortune but unfortunately he had to drop his presidential candidacy of 2020. There were several factors of dropping his candidacy but notably the US right now wasn’t prepared for the shared economy that Sanders was dreaming about.  This time, COVID-19 is a multidimensional shock affecting every attributes of the politics, economy and society. With the result of this, the 3 big shift is coming out.

First big shift: “Politically” big question is—whether Graham Allison’s Thucydides Trap had reached its alternative climax. Rising China and dominant United States is almost “melted away” by this invisible enemy (Coronavirus or COVID-19). Globally, from economics to politics—every countries is witnessing deep crisis so as China and the US too. Is their rising(China) and dominating( the US) status is now temporarily avoided as per their obligation to re-built the world affected by the COVID-19 like that of scenario of Post WWII; popularly known as Potsdam Conference? May be these two ideologically (politics) different nations only going to feed their “proxies” and “allies” in the world. Underlining the current situation, all western allies of the US including UK, Germany, France, and Australia are demanding that China should speak about the “origin” of the COVID-19. Because West believes that China “intentionally” had spread this virus and also China should bear the losses made by the impact of the COVID-19 globally. Let us hope, the world is not running in the path of “Treaty of Versailles” on which Germany was blamed and held responsible for WWI. This resulted to WWII.  Unfortunately, current scenario of more hostility to China by the West—making the world more volatile as all international institutions like UN, World Bank, IMF would face “hot wave” of China & the US skirmishing . United Nations Security Council will be one of the worst affected. There will be limitations in passing the resolutions as probable blockage by the Veto power member China or the US, France and UK on the issue that affects them respectively (For example: Human Rights issue of Xinjiang or Middle East conflict issues). The “greedy & greatness” of great powers is making the upcoming future explosive.  

Second big shift: COVID-19 world again seeking the relevance of globalization—especially in the economic re-organization of life. More fundamentally, how 18th century’s Adam Smith capitalism can be fit into new scenario developed by COVID-19? For now key economic areas are Manufacturing, Services and Agriculture. Among these three areas, Multi-National Companies(MNCs) are looking options to “diversify” production plant(manufacturing) from China because of concentration of supply chain in one place could create serious halt in the crisis like this. So, the big shift is coming ahead in a process to re-organize the capitalism from old notion of concentrating manufacturing, capital and distribution hub in place to different areas. For example: some hundreds of manufacturing companies based in China are looking options to diversity it to India including secondary manufacturing hub to South East Asia. For this MNCs are looking a viable options where they can be based in new locations for longer period of time or not. Indian PM Narendra Modi “Make in India” campaign if played well in this crisis could be lucrative for India’s future economy—India’s dream of becoming $5 trillion economy can be achievable.

Third big shift:  We have seen the growing cases of COVID-19 deaths in the US (86,912 as of May 15th, 2020)—serious lapse of health system, medical readiness to mitigate COVID 19 and Trump’s administration failure in the world’s most powerful nation. Trump administration seriously downplayed the COVID-19 impact and had bullied the “Science” behind this. His administration has only cared for the economy without addressing key concern of current time. At this point, we need to have proper fusion of the “Science+ Economics” notion to rescue from the crisis created by COVID-19. For how long the pandemic will go and which sections of the society is most vulnerable can be answered by the Science and what should be the greater stimulus package for all these questions goes under Economy. Trump administration’s unilateral approach on “Economic” issues by sidelining the scientific alert in previous months resulted today’s situation in the US. So, underlining lessons from the US(because ideas and lessons is still and will float to the world from West in foreseeable future) many foreign government will develop this plans fused with “Science+ Economics” for making Post COVID-19 days working for all.   

Saurav Raj Pant
Saurav Raj Pant
PhD. Student of International Relations & Diplomacy of Tribhuvan University, Nepal


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