from International Institutions and Global Governance Program

Challenges of Global Governance Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic

Perspectives From Council of Councils Institutes

A worker wearing a protective suit disinfects a globe-shaped public garden, following the outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Algiers, Algeria, on March 23, 2020. Ramzi Boudina/Reuters

May 21, 2020

A worker wearing a protective suit disinfects a globe-shaped public garden, following the outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Algiers, Algeria, on March 23, 2020. Ramzi Boudina/Reuters
Report

Overview 

The novel coronavirus has infected millions, killed hundreds of thousands, and affected the well-being of billions more. The COVID-19 pandemic is a transnational threat that requires a global response, but the outbreak has laid bare divergent national approaches to managing global epidemiological interdependence and exposed broader structural weaknesses in the global governance system. Nationalist and inward-looking policies could lead to the loss of millions of lives and global economic disaster. The world needs national governments, regional organizations, and international institutions to act in the same cooperative spirit to effectively mitigate the COVID-19 outbreak.

Tom Bernes

Distinguished Fellow, Centre for International Governance Innovation

Lars Brozus

Deputy Head of the Americas Research Division, German Institute for International and Security Affairs

Michal Hatuel-Radoshitzky

Research Fellow, Institute for National Security Studies

Ari Heistein

Research Fellow and Chief of Staff to the Director, Institute for National Security Studies

Ettore Greco

Executive Vice President, Institute of International Affairs

Patrycja Sasnal

Head of Research, Polish Institute of International Affairs

Igor Yurgens

Chairman, Institute of Contemporary Development

Sergey Kulik

Director for International Studies, Institute of Contemporary Development

Yarik Turianskyi

Deputy Programme Head for African Governance and Diplomacy, South African Institute of International Affairs

Steven Gruzd

Head of the African Governance and Diplomacy Programme, South African Institute of International Affairs

Elizabeth Sidiropoulos

Chief Executive, South African Institute of International Affairs

Neuma Grobbelaar

Director of Research, South African Institute of International Affairs

Selim Yenel

President, Global Relations Forum

Carlos Javier Regazzoni

Director of the Global Health and Human Security Committee, Argentine Council on Foreign Relations

Chen Dongxiao

President, Shanghai Institutes for International Studies

Lu Chuanying

Senior Fellow, Shanghai Institutes for International Studies

Kriti Kapur

Junior Fellow, Observer Research Foundation

Shoba Suri

Senior Fellow, Observer Research Foundation

Philips Vermonte

Executive Director, Centre for Strategic and International Studies

Yose Rizal Damuri

Head of Economics Department, Centre for Strategic and International Studies

Shafiah Muhibat

Head of International Relations Department, Centre for Strategic and International Studies

Mely Caballero-Anthony

Head of the Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies

The Challenges of Global Governance Amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic paper series includes contributions from thirteen Council of Councils institutes. Eight of these papers consider the broader implications of the pandemic for international cooperation and the trajectory of the global system. The remaining five papers examine major gaps in the international management of global public health emergencies and propose reforms to increase the capacity of the multilateral system and national governments to better prevent and anticipate, detect, and respond to future pandemics.

More on:

Coronavirus

Global Governance

Public Health Threats and Pandemics

International Organizations

Health

As the papers make clear, any multilateral reform efforts will encounter strong headwinds in a climate of political polarization and geopolitical competition. Growing U.S.-China tensions and lack of global leadership have undercut pandemic response efforts within the World Health Organization, the Group of Twenty, the United Nations, and other major multilateral forums. In the aftermath of the pandemic, the obstacles to collective action are likely to be even more daunting, across a range of global challenges.

More on:

Coronavirus

Global Governance

Public Health Threats and Pandemics

International Organizations

Health

Contents

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