While the global balance of power, under the impetus of the steady rise of China, is shifting towards the Asia-Pacific, and because the future of US policy is uncertain after the election of Donald Trump, tensions in the South China Sea have once again become a major strategic concern. The South China Sea is witnessing a series of sovereignty disputes between littoral states defending rivalling claims to maritime rights and boundaries. Adding weight and urgency to the disputes are the significant natural resources found in the coveted archipelagos and sea beds as well as the rising national sentiments in many of the claimant states. The geostrategic dimension of these quarrels is largely transcending the region and the involvement of external powers such as the United States further complicates the equation. The recent legal victory of the Philippines over China can be seen as a supplementary cause for anxiety in a latent conflict that may at any time escalate into a regional or global confrontation. Henceforth the search for a negotiated solution becomes crucial as military budgets continue to soar in the region.
© Chappatte, Der Spiegel www.chappatte.com
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?
Covid-19: A Modern Apocalypse or a Temporary Shock to the System?Reading time: 5 min
The Vaccine Race: Will Public Health Prevail over Geopolitics?Reading time: 6 min
Institutions under Stress: Covid-19, Anti-Internationalism and the Futures of Global GovernanceReading time: 5 min
Covid-19 and Even More Unconventional Economic PoliciesReading time: 6 min
Covid-19 and States of EmergencyReading time: 6 min
Pandemic as Revelation: What Does It Tell Us about People on the Move?Reading time: 5 min
Pandemic and Political GeographiesReading time: 5 min
The Western Flu: The Coronavirus Pandemic as a Eurocentric CrisisReading time: 6 min
A Gendered Perspective on the PandemicReading time: 6 min
A National-Liberal VirusReading time: 5 min
Depoliticising through Expertise: The Politics of Modelling in the Governance of Covid-19Reading time: 5 min
The Politics of Covid AppsReading time: 5 min
Human Rights and Covid-19Reading time: 6 min
Emergency Use of Public Funds: Implications for Democratic GovernanceReading time: 6 min
Unequal Impacts of Covid-19: Political and Social ConsequencesReading time: 6 min
Covid, Hysteresis, and the Future of WorkReading time: 4 min
Populism 4.0 and Decent DigiworkReading time: 5 min
After the outbreak of COVID-19 – a virus constituting a genuinely worldwide risk – fear internationalised in just a few weeks. As the COVID crisis has profoundly shaken societies on a global scale it has contributed to a reconfiguration – perhaps a multiplication – of risks and their perceptions. While foremost constituting a biological hazard, the pandemic has large repercussions on other types of risks, ranging from long-term economic and digital disruption to psychological distress and political confrontation. The nature and frontiers of risks are thus moving as the multilateral system, the most adequate framework to deal with global risks, is ailing and current risk mitigation strategies are increasingly put to question. The six articles of the present Dossier explore these changing hierarchies of risk and the underpinning structural issues that endanger our existence.