COVID-19 crisis and the world (re-)order

Max Kelly, Viktor Jakupec, Michael De Percy

Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookChapterpeer-review


This chapter examines the key themes emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the world order. Disruption has occurred at multiple levels, impacting many of the formal and informal institutions that order human life, ranging from ‘social distancing’ to challenging norms around working from home, to outright defiance of the expertise of international institutions such as the World Health Organization. Before the global financial crisis (GFC) of 2008, the rules-based world order founded at Bretton Woods appeared, symbolically at least, to have reached maturity with Vietnam, the last bastion of the communist economic system, joining the World Trade Organisation in 2007. But the period from the GFC to the COVID-19 pandemic witnessed a surge in nationalism and illiberal democracy, amid challenges to globalisation and the re-emergence of protectionism in the United States and the United Kingdom, creating a strategic vacuum that was soon filled by the (re)emerging powers of China and Russia. The pandemic is a catalyst for change. Foreign aid and development have been side-lined by many Western nations struggling with the social and economic consequences of the pandemic, enabling China and Russia to exert their ‘soft power’ in areas previously inaccessible. Global development is in a state of crisis with gains made under pre-COVID conditions in poverty, health, education, and many other areas now lost. The concluding discussion focuses on how foreign aid is deeply challenged by pandemic-related drivers of political self-interest within the context of a rapidly changing global governance and world order.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCOVID-19 and Foreign Aid
Subtitle of host publicationNationalism and Global Development in a New World Order
EditorsViktor Jakupec, Max Kelly, Michael de Percy
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
Number of pages15
ISBN (Print)9781032227115
Publication statusPublished - 2022


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