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BSF Discussion: Saving Democracy: Cooperation and Solidarity in the Aftermath of the Pandemic

BSF Discussion: Saving Democracy: Cooperation and Solidarity in the Aftermath of the Pandemic

Discussion points:

  • How well has the international system weathered the pandemic?
  • Who fared better: autocracies, or democracies? Will it matter in the end?
  • Which lessons should the EU draw from the first months of providing response?
  • What was the role of global civil society? And of the organized, modern state? Did it prove to be indispensable?

The established power relations in the world have been shaken from the ground up by the pandemic. After one great power failed to warn others, the threat was minimized around the world, and then solutions were quickly sought. There were few sober reactions at the outset; and too much panic. Nationalism raised its ugly head: states raced for medical and protective equipment, resorting to dirty play at times. Restrictions on human rights and freedoms in the first “wave” of the pandemic helped some leaders. Thus, another way was found to marginalize critics. The reality, however, has severely punished populists around the world. The race for equipment was replaced by the race for the vaccine; the one who “works” first will bring prestige to both the country in question and its leader. As we wait for pandemic to unfold its next chapter, questions abound.