The Pandemic Impact, Country-Level Differences and Long-Term Implications

The most recent issue of the Journal of Global Faultlines examines the differences in pandemic responses around the world, the role that policy frameworks play and the multiple effects the coronavirus crisis has in the private and public spheres.

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Introduction

The June-August 2020 issue of the Open Access Journal of Global Faultlines, published by Pluto Journals, is dedicated to the global impact of the Covid-19 crisis on the world economy. As lockdown measures, implemented globally, have sharply reduced labor market participation and increased social state dependence, the editorial piece for this journal issue has concentrated on the effects of neoliberalism on the quality and availability of healthcare services as factors of pandemic preparedness. The editorial (2020, pp. 3-6) has also noted the apparent negative interrelationship between the degree of neoliberalism and the estimated effectiveness of the country-level pandemic response at the time of its publication. In this respect, the United States (US) and the United Kingdom (UK) that have historically spearheaded the implementation of neoliberal policies have been cited as cases in point. This also casts into question the Eurocentric distinction between developed and developing countries as the global system of country-level interrelations undergoes rapid change.

Topical Spotlight

In their opening article for this journal issue, Timothy Mellish, Natalie Luzmore and Ahmed Ashfaque (2020, p. 9) draw attention to the mismatch between the potentially devastating impact of pandemic outbreaks, which have historically been as deadly as major wars, and the country-level funding dedicated to their prevention that has been undercut by deregulation, privatization and austerity policies implemented in the healthcare domain in some countries in recent decades. The implications of that are illustrated by low Covid-19 recovery rates in the US and UK, which contrasts with relatively high recovery rates in Germany and South Korea based on September 2020 data (Mellish, Luzmore and Ashfaque, 2020, p. 12). That the pandemic crisis has had a significantly straining impact not only on public health systems but also in the domestic sphere is illustrated by the contribution of Jane Krishnadas and Sophia Hayat Taha (2020, p. 46) that have explored structural gender inequalities, the devaluation of care-giving work and domestic violence issues.

Likewise, Binoy Kampmark (2020, p. 59) evaluates the likely long-term effects of the deployment by state actors of surveillance technologies for pandemic-period virus contract and transmission tracing, which can lead to the erosion of privacy protections. Similarly, in her article, Biljana Vankovska (2020, p. 71) has examined the expected long-term effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on the Balkan states in the context of the European Union enlargement process and the center-periphery interrelations it entails..These concerns are partly echoed in Darrell Whitman’s (2020, pp. 91-95) discussion of Moldova’s response to Covid-19 in terms of global flows of communication, conflicting science-related narratives and institutional and country-level measures in relation to the pandemic.

Conclusion

Thus, as Lily Hamourtziadou and Jonathan Jackson (2020, pp. 96-98) have commented, the Covid-19 crisis is likely to have divergent global ramifications, since it constitutes a multi-level challenge to individual and collective security, such as in terms of the pandemic readiness of healthcare systems, to which not all countries have been providing effective responses. Additionally, as Keziah Akhigbemen and others (2020, pp. 101-103) note, in the wake of Covid-19, governments around the world may need to weigh the ethical implications of using digital surveillance technologies and taking policy-making measures affecting individual freedoms and population safety.


Published by Pluto Journals, this issue of the Journal of Global Faultlines is accessible in Open Access, as part of the support that the Pluto Open Journals 2021-2023 collection receives.


References

Akhigbemen, Keziah, Ade (Sherifat) Bakare, Hollie Bingham, Eloise Crossland, Matthew Cupac, Molly Jones, Darill Zeng Liew, Shaunna McIvor, Katerina Nicosia, Pooja Raval, Chris Shipley, Iona Smith, Brandon Swift, Will Tyson, and Leonie Williams. “Do We Support Our Governments to Use Strict Surveillance Methods in the Fight against the Coronavirus?” Journal of Global Faultlines 7, no. 1 (2020): 101-03. doi:10.13169/jglobfaul.7.1.0101.

Editorial. “Neoliberal Economic Model and Austerity Have Made Us Helpless in the Face of the COVID-19 Crisis.” Journal of Global Faultlines 7, no. 1 (2020): 3-6. doi:10.13169/jglobfaul.7.1.0003.

Hamourtziadou, Lily, and Jonathan Jackson. “COVID-19 and the Myth of Security.” Journal of Global Faultlines 7, no. 1 (2020): 96-98. doi:10.13169/jglobfaul.7.1.0096.

Kampmark, Binoy. “The Pandemic Surveillance State: An Enduring Legacy of COVID-19.” Journal of Global Faultlines 7, no. 1 (2020): 59-70.  doi:10.13169/jglobfaul.7.1.0059.

Krishnadas, Jane, and Sophia Hayat Taha. “Domestic Violence through the Window of the COVID-19 Lockdown: A Public Crisis Embodied/exposed in the Private/domestic Sphere.” Journal of Global Faultlines 7, no. 1 (2020): 46-58.  doi:10.13169/jglobfaul.7.1.0046.

Mellish, Timothy I., Natalie J. Luzmore, and Ahmed Ashfaque Shahbaz. “Why Were the UK and USA Unprepared for the COVID-19 Pandemic? The Systemic Weaknesses of Neoliberalism: A Comparison between the UK, USA, Germany, and South Korea.” Journal of Global Faultlines 7, no. 1 (2020): 9-45. doi:10.13169/jglobfaul.7.1.0009.

Vankovska, Biljana. “Dealing with COVID-19 in the European Periphery: Between Securitization and “gaslighting”.” Journal of Global Faultlines 7, no. 1 (2020): 71-88. doi:10.13169/jglobfaul.7.1.0071.

Whitman, Darrell L. ““A Test of Our Values”: The Moldovan Experience with COVID-19.” Journal of Global Faultlines 7, no. 1 (2020): 91-95. Accessed January 13, 2021. doi:10.13169/jglobfaul.7.1.0091.


Featured Image Credits

COVID-19 Response, April 10, 2020 | © Courtesy of Devin Nothstine/USAFRICOM/Flickr.

Pablo Markin

Community Manager, Open Research Community

Comments

Go to the profile of Philipp Hess
8 months ago

This is really interesting!