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Editorial 2021-2022

Editorial 2021-2022

Post Pandemic politics and planetary interconnection: have we learned any lessons?

If the Covid-19 pandemic  - which began to ravage the world in early 2020 -  has taught us anything, it is the need to take stock of the way we are living and interacting with the world of Nature. We need to critically engage and overcome the cognitive challenge in understanding the interconnection between the health of the planet on the one hand, and the limits imposed by Nature in extracting its fruits on the other, to guarantee our own survival on Earth.  The human security dimension should be reformulated not only in terms of better infrastructure to deal with pandemics, more hospitals to assist the patients, or more medicines to cope with the disease, but rather, the new definitions will necessarily include an intellectual shift from business as usual to changes in our buy-discard lifestyles.  Trends in deforestation, urbanization, and the destruction of habitats have disrupted the equilibrium between humans and non-human organisms on our "home", Earth.  What had started as a sanitary crisis going global, has mutated into a capital crisis of high proportions. Restrictions on liberties, lockdowns and state aid to alleviate the needy and the jobless have meant a financial recession at a global level.  Covid-19 has laid bare the precarity of health provision in wealthy nations, it has exacerbated competition rather than cooperation in the acquisition of vaccines, and it has provoked trends of de-globalization which might stay with us for a while, or for a longer period than previously anticipated. Tacit to this line of thinking is the nearshoring or reshoring, or "Buy America" Act, whereby the new Biden administration promotes buying and manufacturing internally.  This Biden doctrine can only revive in the wake of the disruption of the Global Supply Chain affected by pandemics and lockdown restrictions.

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Editorial 2018-2021

Editorial 2018-2021

Foto:  Karanik Yimpat / EyeEm | Crédito: Getty Images/EyeEm

Democracy matters

At a global level, 2017 featured the backlash to the status quo. With the Brexit referendum, and with America First precepts under Trump's presidency, the US-led world order has witnessed the emergence of an "illiberal" world, where anti-globalization sentiments, nationalistic movements take center stage.  Richard Haass calls this a "world in disarray". Anti-immigration voices such as Le Penn in France which had been making some headway in European elections and posing a threat to the survival of the EU are features of a new political landscape, with a backlash component to the ruling elites.  Under America First precepts, a nativist America seems to replicate in the White House foreign policy: tough negotiations with Mexico on NAFTA, a ban on travelers coming to the USA, fears of a trade war with China, have all set off the alarm of protectionist measures. Democracy is heavily pressed by the skill-and income-gaps or the discontent of the population over growing inequalities which political elites have not resolved efficiently in capitalist societies, such as the stagnation or decline of middle-class wages.  Such a picture is also accompanied by the menace of cyberspace insecurity, with allegations of Russian hackers meddling in elections and the recent scandal of Cambridge Analytica at the heart of Facebook's data mining for political manipulation. 

Will liberal democracy survive?

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