Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

The Big Reveal: COVID-19 and Globalization's Great Transformations

  • Kathleen R. McNamara and Abraham L. Newman

Abstract

Analysis of the post-COVID world tends to gravitate to one of two poles. For some, the pandemic is a crisis that will reshuffle the decks, producing a fundamental reordering of global politics. For others, the basic principles of the international order are likely to remain much the same, driven largely by the emerging bipolar system between the US and China. We find both narratives dissatisfying, as the former overinterprets the causal role of the pandemic itself, while the latter underappreciates the critical ways in which global politics have been transformed beyond the state-centered system of the Cold War. We argue instead that the pandemic exposes underlying trends already at work and forces scholars to open the aperture on how we study globalization. Most centrally, we contend that globalization needs to be seen not just as a distributional game of winners and losers but rather a more profoundly transformational game that reshapes identities, redefines channels of power and authority, and generates new sites for contentious politics. We draw on emerging work to sketch out a theoretical frame for thinking about the politics of globalization, and assess some of the key policy arenas where COVID-19 is accelerating the transformative effects of globalization. In so doing, we suggest a roadmap to a post-pandemic research agenda for studying global markets that more fully captures these transformations and their implications for world politics.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      The Big Reveal: COVID-19 and Globalization's Great Transformations
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      The Big Reveal: COVID-19 and Globalization's Great Transformations
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      The Big Reveal: COVID-19 and Globalization's Great Transformations
      Available formats
      ×

Copyright

Footnotes

Hide All

Editor's note: This article is part of an online supplemental issue on COVID-19 and international relations. The authors were invited by IO's editorial team and guest editor Michael C. Horowitz. The manuscript was reviewed based on written non-anonymous reviewer comments and during an online workshop. The revised manuscript was evaluated by the IO editorial team. We appreciate the support of Perry World House at the University of Pennsylvania for making this possible.

Footnotes

References

Hide All
Abdelal, Rawi, Blyth, Mark, and Parsons, Craig. 2011. Constructing the International Economy. Cornell University Press.
Allee, Todd L., and Scalera, Jamie E.. 2012. The Divergent Effects of Joining International Organizations: Trade Gains and the Rigors of WTO Accession. International Organization 66 (2):243–76.
Allee, Todd, and Peinhardt, Clint. 2011. Contingent Credibility: The Impact of Investment Treaty Violations on Foreign Direct Investment. International Organization 65 (3):401–32.
Barberá, Pablo, Andreu, Casas, Jonathan, Nagler, Patrick J., Egan, Richard, Bonneau, John T., Jost, and Tucker, Joshua A.. 2019. Who leads? Who follows? Measuring Issue Attention and Agenda Setting by Legislators and the Mass Public Using Social Media Data. American Political Science Review 113 (4):883901.
Barnes, Julian E. 2020. US Accuses Hackers of Trying to Steal Coronavirus Vaccine Data for China. The New York Times. Available at <https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/21/us/politics/china-hacking-coronavirus-vaccine.html>. Accessed 30 July 2020.
Barnett, Michael, and Duvall, Raymond. 2005. Power in International Politics. International Organization 59 (1):3975.
Barnett, Michael. 2020. Humanitarian Governance, Global Triage, and the International Liberal Sacrificial Order. International Organization 74 (S1). <https://doi.org/10.1017/S002081832000034X>.
Best, Jacqueline, and Paterson, Matthew. 2010. Cultural Political Economy. Routledge.
Brooks, Stephen G. 2011. Producing Security: Multinational Corporations, Globalization, and the Changing Calculus of Conflict. Princeton University Press.
Büthe, Tim, and Milner, Helen V.. 2008. The Politics of Foreign Direct Investment into Developing Countries: Increasing FDI through International Trade Agreements? American Journal of Political Science 52 (4):741–62.
Buzas, Zoltan. Forthcoming. Racism and Antiracism in the Liberal International Order. International Organization.
Colgan, Jeff, Green, Jessica, and Hale, Thomas. Forthcoming. Asset Revaluation and the Existential Politics of Climate Change. International Organization.
Cooley, Alexander, and Sharman, J.C.. 2017. Transnational Corruption and the Globalized Individual. Perspectives on Politics 15 (3):732–53.
Culpepper, Pepper D., and Thelen, Kathleen. 2020. Are We All Amazon Primed? Consumers and the Politics of Platform Power. Comparative Political Studies 53 (2):288318.
Drezner, Daniel. 2020. The Song Remains the Same: International Relations After COVID-19. International Organization 74 (S1). <https://doi.org/10.1017/S0020818320000351>.
Farrell, Henry, and Newman, Abraham L.. 2010. Making Global Markets: Historical Institutionalism in International Political Economy. Review of International Political Economy 17 (4):609–38.
Farrell, Henry, and Newman, Abraham L.. 2014. Domestic Institutions Beyond the Nation-State: Charting the New Interdependence Approach. World Politics 66 (2):331–63.
Farrell, Henry, and Newman, Abraham L.. 2016. The New Interdependence Approach: Theoretical Development and Empirical Demonstration. Review of International Political Economy 23 (5):713–36.
Farrell, Henry, and Newman, Abraham. 2017. BREXIT, Voice and Loyalty: Rethinking Electoral Politics in an Age of Interdependence. Review of International Political Economy 24 (2): 232–47.
Farrell, Henry, and Newman, Abraham L.. 2019a. Of Privacy and Power: The Transatlantic Struggle over Freedom and Security. Princeton University Press.
Farrell, Henry, and Newman, Abraham L.. 2019b. Weaponized Interdependence: How Global Economic Networks Shape State Coercion. International Security 44 (1):4279.
Farrell, Henry, and Newman, Abraham L.. 2020a. Will the Coronavirus End Globalization as We Know It? Foreign Affairs. Available at <https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/2020-03-16/will-coronavirus-end-globalization-we-know-it>. Accessed 19 June 2020.
Farrell, Henry, and Newman, Abraham L.. 2020b. Will Governments Restrict Foreign Access to Pandemic Supplies? Harvard Business Review. Available at <https://hbr.org/2020/03/will-governments-restrict-foreign-access-to-pandemic-supplies>. Accessed 19 June 2020.
Farrell, Henry, and Newman, Abraham L.. Forthcoming. The Janus Face of the Liberal International Order: When Global Institutions are Self-Undermining. International Organization.
Farrell, Henry, and Schneier, Bruce. 2019. Democracy's Dilemma, Boston Review, May 15.
Fioretos, Orfeo. 2011. Historical Institutionalism in International Relations. International Organization 65 (2):367–99.
Fligstein, Neil. 2002. The Architecture of Markets: An Economic Sociology of Twenty-first-century Capitalist Societies. Princeton University Press.
Friedman, Thomas L. 2005. The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century. Macmillan.
Galston, William A. 2020. Trump or Governors: Who's the Boss? Brookings. Available at <https://www.brookings.edu/blog/fixgov/2020/03/25/trump-or-governors-whos-the-boss/>. Accessed 20 June 2020.
Garrett, G. 1998. Global Markets and National Politics. International Organization 52 (4):787824.
Gilpin, Robert. 1976. The Political Economy of the Multinational Corporation: Three Contrasting Perspectives. American Political Science Review 70 (1):184–91.
Giuffrida, Angela. 2020. Why Was Lombardy Hit Harder Than Italy's Other Regions? The Guardian. Available at <https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/may/29/why-was-lombardy-hit-harder-covid-19-than-italys-other-regions>. Accessed 20 June 2020.
Grzymala-Busse, Anna. 2019. Introduction. Polity 51 (4):631–40.
Guisinger, Alexandra. 2017. American Opinion on Trade: Preferences Wthout Politics. Oxford University Press.
Hill, Christopher, Smith, Michael, and Vanhoonacker, Sophie. 2017. International Relations and the European Union. Third Edition. New European Union Series. Oxford University Press.
Hooghe, Liesbet, and Marks, Gary. 2018. Cleavage Theory Meets Europe's Crises: Lipset, Rokkan, and the Transnational Cleavage. Journal of European Public Policy 25 (1):109–35.
Hopkin, Jonathan. 2020. Anti-System Politics: The Crisis of Market Liberalism in Rich Democracies. Oxford University Press.
Kalyanpur, Nikhil. 2018. Hegemony, Inequality, and the Quest for Primacy. Journal of Global Security Studies 3(3): 371–84.
Kalyanpur, Nikhil. 2020. Liberalism Outsourced: Why Oligarchs and Autocrats Fight in Foreign Courts. Doctoral Dissertation, Washington, DC: Georgetown University.
Kalyanpur, Nikhil, and Newman, Abraham L.. 2019. The MNC-Coalition Paradox: Issue Salience, Foreign Firms and the General Data Protection Regulation 57 (3):448–67.
Keohane, Robert O. 2009. The Old IPE and the New. Review of International Political Economy 16 (1):3446.
Keohane, Robert and Nye, Joseph. 1977. Power and Interdependence: World Politics in Transition. Little, Brown.
Lake, David A. 2009. Open Economy Politics: A Critical Review. The Review of International Organizations 4 (3):219–44.
Leong, Nancy. 2013. Racial Capitalism. Harvard Law Review 126 (8):2151–226.
Lockwood, Erin. 2020. The International Political Economy of Global Inequality. Review of International Political Economy. Available at <https://doi.org/10.1080/09692290.2020.1775106>.
Mansfield, Edward D., Milner, Helen V., and Pevehouse, Jon C.. 2007. Vetoing Co-operation: The Impact of Veto Players on Preferential Trading Arrangements. British Journal of Political Science 37 (3):403 –32.
Mattern, Janice Bially, and Zarakol, Ayşe. 2016. Hierarchies in World Politics. International Organization 70 (3):623–54.
Mcconaughey, Meghan, Musgrave, Paul, and Nexon, Daniel H.. 2018. Beyond Anarchy: Logics of Political Organization, Hierarchy, and International Structure. International Theory 10 (2):181218.
McNamara, Kathleen. 2002. Rational Fictions: Central Bank Independence and the Social Logic of Delegation. West European Politics 25 (1):4776.
McNamara, Kathleen R. 2018. Authority Under Construction: The European Union in Comparative Political Perspective. JCMS: Journal of Common Market Studies 56 (7):1510–25.
McNamara, Kathleen R. 2017. Explaining the New Class Cleavages: Geography, Post-Industrial Transformations and Everyday Culture. SSRN Scholarly Paper. Rochester, NY: Social Science Research Network. Available at <https://papers.ssrn.com/abstract=3059222>. Accessed 30 July 2020.
McNamara, Kathleen R. 2009. Of Intellectual Monocultures and the Study of IPE. Review of International Political Economy 16 (1):7284.
McNamara, Kathleen R. 1999. The Currency of Ideas: Monetary Politics in the European Union. Cornell Studies in Political Economy. Cornell University Press.
McNamara, Kathleen R. 2015. The Politics of Everyday Europe: Constructing Authority in the European Union. Oxford University Press.
McNamara, Kathleen R., and Matthijs, Matthias. 2020. Analysis | Europe's Leaders Meet This Week to Confront the Coronavirus. Washington Post. Available at <https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2020/04/21/europes-leaders-meet-this-week-confront-coronavirus/>. Accessed 20 June 2020.
Mérand, Frédéric. 2008. European Defence Policy: Beyond the Nation State. Oxford University Press.
Mosley, Layna. 2003. Global Capital and National Governments. Cambridge University Press.
Muro, Mark, Whiton, Jacob, and Maxim, Robert. 2020. The Places a COVID-19 Recession Will Likely Hit Hardest. Brookings. Available at <https://www.brookings.edu/blog/the-avenue/2020/03/17/the-places-a-covid-19-recession-will-likely-hit-hardest/>. Accessed 19 June 2020.
Musgrave, Paul, and Nexon, Daniel H.. 2018. Defending Hierarchy from the Moon to the Indian Ocean: Symbolic Capital and Political Dominance in Early Modern China and the Cold War. International Organization 72 (3):591626.
Owen, Erica, and Johnston, Noel P.. 2017. Occupation and the Political Economy of Trade: Job Routineness, Offshorability, and Protectionist Sentiment. International Organization 71 (4):665–99.
Owen, Erica, and Walter, Stefanie. 2017. Open Economy Politics and Brexit: Insights, Puzzles, and Ways Forward. Review of International Political Economy 24 (2):179202.
Persaud, Randolph B., and Sajed, Alina, eds. 2018. Race, Gender, and Culture in International Relations: Postcolonial Perspectives. Routledge.
Rankin, Jennifer. 2020. EU says China Behind ‘Huge Wave’ of Covid-19 Disinformation. The Guardian. Available at <https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jun/10/eu-says-china-behind-huge-wave-covid-19-disinformation-campaign>. Accessed 30 July 2020.
Reich, Robert. 2020. Covid-19 Pandemic Shines a Light on a New Kind of Class Divide and its Inequalities. The Guardian. Available at <https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/apr/25/covid-19-pandemic-shines-a-light-on-a-new-kind-of-class-divide-and-its-inequalities>. Accessed 15 June 2020.
Rho, Sungmin, and Tomz, Michael. 2017. Why don't trade preferences reflect economic self-interest?. International Organization 71(S1): S85S108.
Rudra, Nita. 2008. Globalization and the Race to the Bottom in Developing Countries. Cambridge University Press.
Simmons, Beth A. 2011. International Studies in the Global Information Age. International Studies Quarterly 55 (3):589–99.
Smelser, Neil J., and Swedberg, Richard, eds. 2005. The Handbook of Economic Sociology: Second Edition. Princeton University Press.
Strange, Susan. 1990. Finance, Information and Power. Review of International Studies 16 (3):259–74.
Thelen, K. 2003. How Institutions Evolve: Insights from Comparative Historical Analysis. In Comparative Historical Analysis in the Social Sciences, 208–40. Cambridge University Press.
Tilley, Lisa, and Shilliam, Robbie. 2018. Raced Markets: An Introduction. New Political Economy 23 (5):534–43.
Ward, Alex. 2020. What Alexander Hamilton has to do With the EU's $850 Billion Coronavirus Stimulus Plan. Vox. Available at <https://www.vox.com/2020/7/21/21332541/coronavirus-eu-stimulus-merkel-billion-hamilton>. Accessed 25 July 2020.
Willsher, Kim, Borger, Julian, and Holmes, Oliver. 2020. US Accused of ‘Modern Piracy’ after Diversion of Masks Meant for Europe. The Guardian. Available at <https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/03/mask-wars-coronavirus-outbidding-demand>. Accessed 30 July 2020.
Zuboff, Shoshana. 2019. The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power. PublicAffairs.

Keywords

The Big Reveal: COVID-19 and Globalization's Great Transformations

  • Kathleen R. McNamara and Abraham L. Newman

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed.