A pandemic is not just a medical emergency – it is also a political, economic, and social crisis. It implies new challenges for democratic institutions and practices, for citizenship rights and human rights as some of the restrictions on civil liberties put in place by liberal and illiberal democracies may well outlive the coronavirus. This special issue explores some tensions and dilemmas of democracies faced with the current crisis. “Politics of the Coronavirus Pandemics” addresses questions like: Can we speak of a decline in politics during the pandemic? While states have been using the full gamut of their sovereign prerogatives, has the political (temporarily) faded in the face of, for example, “expertise”? What will be the lasting impact of the rule by administrative fiat, and of emergency powers put in place in many countries? What kinds of agenda and instruments of civic activism are likely to emerge given that courts are rarely in session and public protest not permitted due to distancing rules? What are the likely consequences of these reconfigurations for democracy, governance, and welfare systems in the global South and North?
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The multipolar world succeeding US hegemony in the early 21st century, the financial crisis of 2007 and the corollary decline of liberalism seem to have ushered in an era of economic nationalism. States are increasingly left to fend for themselves as multilateral mechanisms lose traction and international economic relations gain in toxicity. The sanctions, embargoes and retaliations arising from the war in Ukraine, but also an accelerating struggle for dwindling natural resources, have pushed these logics to new heights. This Dossier assesses ongoing geoeconomic transformations and their potentially devastating consequences.
War by Other Means? Geoeconomics in the 21st CenturyReading time: 6 min
Globalisation: The Danger of Safe SpacesReading time: 4 min
Risky Interdependence: The Impact of Geoeconomics on Trade PolicyReading time: 4 min
A New Page in Global Sanctions Practice: The Russian CaseReading time: 6 min
The Politicisation of the Commodities TradeReading time: 4 min
Sanctions against Russia and the Role of the United NationsReading time: 4 min
A Renewed Neocolonial Scramble for Resources?Reading time: 5 min
The Rise of GeoeconomicsReading time: 5 min
Debt as a Political Weapon?Reading time: 5 min
Global Sanctions: A Bibliography from the Graduate InstituteReading time: 5 min
We currently face a baffling paradox. While since the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 a seemingly inexorable process of globalisation has been foreshadowing a peaceful and frontierless world, the number of walls across the world has been rising at a steady pace. Liberal and open societies buttressed by trade, international law and technological progress were supposed to implacably contribute to the erosion of frontiers and walls between nations. However, in a context of surging populist discourses, securitarian anxieties and identitarian politics as well as concomitant flows of migration alimented by climate change, conflict and poverty, nations have recently started to barricade themselves behind new walls.