Search results: "coronavirus" (page 1 of 4)

The Virus in the Digital Domain: How Governments Can Respond To Coronavirus-Themed Cyberattacks

Courtesy of US Navy, used under Creative Commons license.

This is a guest post by William Akoto, a postdoctoral researcher jointly appointed at the Sié Chéou-Kang Center for International Security & Diplomacy at the Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver, and the One Earth Future Foundation. In the fall, he will begin a tenure-track appointment at Fordham University. 

As people have become consumed with concern about the coronavirus, organized cyber criminal groups are actively exploiting uncertainty, doubt and fear to target individuals and businesses in a variety of ways. Reports of cyber phishing attacks using coronavirus themes started appearing in early February 2020, but these attacks have since become widespread. The explosion of coronavirus-related scams, range from fake storefronts hawking fake vaccines to sophisticated phishing scams that take advantage of the uncertainty around the pandemic. For instance, Google’s threat analysis group reported in late April 2020 that they find an average of 18 million malware and phishing messages per day related to COVID-19. This is in addition to more than 240 million COVID-related daily spam messages that are automatically deleted by Gmail spam filters. 

Analysis by industry experts show that a significant portion of these attacks are carried out by state-sponsored hackers, some of whom are targeting coronavirus-related research. Responding to these state-sponsored attacks poses a significant challenge to targeted states as they seek to navigate the foreign policy and international relations implications of retributive action. While technical solutions provide the best bet for responding to these attacks, government policy could play a crucial supporting role. In this post, I review modalities of COVID-19 themed cyberattacks and outline some options available to governments as they seek to deal with them.

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WHO’s to Blame? Coronavirus and the Politics of Blame Shifting

The following is a guest post by Isabella Alcañiz and Timothy Hellwig. Isabella Alcañiz is Associate Professor of Government and Politics at the University of Maryland. Her research interests include climate inequality, disaster policy, the state in the global south, and Latin American politics. She is author of Environmental and Nuclear Networks in the Global South: How Skills Shape International Cooperation (2016, Cambridge). Timothy Hellwig is Professor of Political Science and Academic Director of the Europe Gateway at Indiana University.  He is a team member of the Executive Approval Project and coauthor of Democracy Under Siege? Parties, Voters, and Elections After the Great Recession (forthcoming, Oxford).

Last week, President Donald Trump threatened to permanently cut US funding to the World Health Organization and eventually leave the institution. The opening salvo of Trump’s war against the United Nations agency in charge of global public health came a month ago, when the American president first stopped paying US dues. To many, Trump’s escalating threats to the very organization tasked with monitoring, evaluating, and communicating global health risks during the coronavirus pandemic is equivalent to dismissing the generals on the way into battle. The move has left the United States further isolated in the international arena, with key European allies declaring their support of the UN agency.  

Trump maintains that the WHO’s response during the early days of the COVID-19 crisis justified his unprecedented move. The WHO, he claims, failed to acknowledge reports of the virus out of Wuhan, China in late 2019 even though there was yet to be substantiated evidence to the effect. Rather, the WHO began monitoring the situation in the Chinese province once the first public reports about a novel coronavirus surfaced and issued early guidance about contact protection shortly after the first of the year. In his letter breaking up with the organization, Trump also accused the international organization of showering praise on China and accepting its coronavirus-related data without question. However, this charge is not based on evidence and, given Trump’s own approval of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s response to the pandemic, rings hollow. 

The threat to halt funding permanently to the world’s pre-eminent public health agency during a public health crisis appears highly reckless. Trump’s actions, however, are more strategic than they first seem.

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Coronavirus, Communal Violence, and the Politics of Rivalry in India and Pakistan

This is a guest post by Elizabeth Radziszewski, Assistant Professor at Rider University and author of forthcoming book Private Militaries and Security Industry in Civil Wars: Competition and Market Accountability (Oxford University Press) and Jonathan M. DiCicco, Associate Professor of Political Science and International Relations at Middle Tennessee State University and a Senior Fellow with the TransResearch Consortium.

While the world has been coping with the disastrous COVID-19 pandemic, India and Pakistan have experienced the worst cross-border fighting in two years. Unfortunately, this fight is not against the virus. Instead, it is a continuation of the two enemies’ rivalry over Kashmir, a disputed territory each claims as its own.

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Too Soon for a Coronavirus Commission

This is a guest post from Erik Dahl, an associate professor of national security affairs at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, and the author of Intelligence and Surprise Attack: Failure and Success from Pearl Harbor to 9/11 and Beyond (Georgetown, 2013). The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Naval Postgraduate School or the U.S. Department of Defense.   

As many parts of the United States begin to slowly reopen amid the continuing coronavirus pandemic, there are increasing calls in Congress and from emergency management experts for a national commission to examine how well we were prepared for, and responded to, the global crisis. Congressional committees are beginning to hold hearings about the pandemic, including testimony expected soon from Dr. Anthony Fauci, and pressure will likely build for a more extensive investigation. Supporters argue that a commission is needed in the same way national investigations in the wake of Pearl Harbor and 9/11 helped us understand how those disasters could have happened. 

Just as with those previous cases, such an effort will be needed eventually to help the country heal from the current crisis. But history suggests it is too early now to begin that process, because early efforts to investigate national calamities tend to produce more heat than light.    

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“Déjà vu All Over Again: The EU, Coronavirus, and the Eurozone Crisis”

This is a guest post from Sean D. Ehrlich, an Associate Professor of Political Science at Florida State University who researches international and comparative political economy, trade policy, and democratic institutions. His first book, Access Points, was published by Oxford University Press in 2011 and  his second book, The Politics of Fair Trade, was published by Oxford University Press in 2018. He can be found on Twitter @SeanDEhrlich.

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to rage across the European Union, the EU itself has been relatively inactive, leaving it up to the member states to address the medical crisis and its economic and social consequences. Largely, this is by design, as public health issues were intentionally left to national discretion.

Where the EU has taken action, it has been limited and technocratic such as pooling money for joint ventilator purchases and funding vaccine research cross-nationally. The one exception has been the European Central Bank, which has taken major steps by injecting over €750 billion into the economy through quantitative easing to support the region’s economies.

Otherwise, what the EU has not done is offer any European-wide fiscal stimulus or aid for countries that implement their own policies. While the EU does not have ready mechanisms to do much of this, they do have tools like the European Stabilization Mechanism (ESM) to lend money to countries that have increasing debt which was developed to address the Eurozone sovereign debt crisis that started in 2008. However, though negotiations are ongoing and a preliminary deal has been struck, the members of the EU have yet to agree on a final plan to use the ESM.

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Experts, Public Intellectuals, and the Coronavirus

This is a guest post from Peter Verovšek, a Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in Politics/International Relations at the University of Sheffield

The Coronavirus has turned us all into amateur epidemiologists. This desire for greater understanding makes sense in the face of a threat as novel and as dangerous as COVID-19. The shutdown of massive sections of the economy and state-mandated orders to engage in social – or, more accurately, physical – distancing has left the majority of us stuck at home, wondering when things will go back to normal and worrying that they never will.

As a result of this uncertainty, we are all breathlessly reading scientific reports on pandemics, such as the paper from Imperial College London, which serves as the scientific basis for government policy in the UK. Previously obscure experts on viral pandemics, such as Neil M. Ferguson and Nicholas A. Christakis, have built massive followings on Twitter almost overnight.

Clearly experts have an important role to play in combatting the novel Coronavirus by advising governments, informing citizens, and conducting the basic scientific research necessary to address the crisis in real time. In the words of Michel Foucault, these “specific intellectuals” are supposed “to pose problems, to make them active, to display them in such a complexity that they can silence the prophets and lawgivers” by making the severity of the crisis clear.

However, in addition epidemiologists and scholars of public health, many other researchers – including many political scientists and philosophers – have also sought to cope with the current situation by putting their thoughts down on paper (myself obviously included). In and of itself this is not a bad thing.

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Trump’s Coronavirus Response Shows How Much Leaders Matter

This is a guest post by Richard W. Maass, an Associate Professor at the University of Evansville. His research focuses on international security, US foreign policy, terrorism, and diplomatic history. He has a forthcoming book on how democracy and xenophobia limited US territorial expansion (Cornell UP, May 2020).

The international experience of COVID-19 will have many implications for international relations. Scholars have already begun discussing its implications for IR theories, hegemonic stability theory, and measures of state capacity. When all is said and done, I think the central lesson will be how much individual leaders matter.

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What matters most for teaching in the age of coronavirus?

This is a guest post from Dr. Rebecca Glazier, who is an Associate Professor in the School of Public Affairs at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. She has over 10 years of experience teaching online and her pedagogical research focuses on improving online retention.

Many of us are in the middle of teaching triage—scrambling to put our classes online, adjusting assignments, and responding to panicked students. What should we prioritize in this time of crisis? Lucky for us, there is not only a wealth of academic literature about best practices for teaching online, but there is also a great network of scholars willing to share it through blogs, articles, and Twitter.

My overarching recommendation, from over 10 years of teaching and researching online, is to prioritize. If you are interested, there are extensive lists of best practices, detailed descriptions of all the neat technological tools you can use, and thoughtful articles on how to carefully design an online course for the first time. But this is a pandemic and many of us are moving our classes online with only days or maybe weeks to prepare. There is nothing best about this situation. Under these circumstances, we can be happy with good enough.

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How the Coronavirus is Plaguing Autocracies and Democracies

This is a guest post from Renu Singh, PhD Candidate at Georgetown University in political science, researching public health policy, global health security, and European politics.

After weeks of the spiraling transmission of COVID-19, the outbreak has spread from its source in Wuhan, China to nearly 70 locations worldwide. To date, the number of people with confirmed infections of coronavirus has surpassed 100,000, where more than 3,000 have died and over 60,000 have recovered. Mainland China, Italy, South Korea, and Iran remain the hardest hit with confirmed cases in the thousands, but the virus is continuing to spread, and the World Health Organization (WHO) has raised the global alert to the highest level other than calling it a pandemic.

With China witnessing another infectious disease outbreak and the first to be designated as a WHO Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC), SARS being the outbreak that facilitated the PHEIC system to begin with, there has been much discussion about China’s response given its authoritarian context. This includes how the disruptions might bring into question the effectiveness of authoritarian rule during public health emergencies. It is equally important to consider what the crisis means for democracy. What role does a country’s regime type have in shaping their response to public health emergencies, and in turn, in what ways do these crises threaten the stability of these regimes?

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What coronavirus can tell us about Health Emergencies past, and its future

This is a guest post from Dr. Joshua R. Moon is a Research Fellow at the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU), University of Sussex, researching biomedical research global health security policy. Research & Twitter

The coronavirus epidemic that is ongoing at the moment is not the first to spark global panic and it certainly won’t be the last. Looking to the future, even as we strive to end transmission and bring the epidemic to a close, we have an opportunity to examine the 21st century’s record when it comes to health emergencies. Looking from SARS to COVID19 tells us a story of technological success and political peril.

SARS: Renewed hope for IHR revisions

The rise of SARS, a novel coronavirus, in 2003 fulfilled fears that had been building around “the threat” of emerging infectious diseases. In addition to this, the SARS outbreak provided measures that were “recognized as effective emergency responses and as blueprints for the IHR revision process”. This manifested in a number of changes to the International Health Regulations, the World Health Organization’s legally binding framework of rules, guidance and expectations for states in the event of a health emergency.

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What Money Can (and Can’t) Buy for the Global Coronavirus Response

This is a guest post by Summer Marion, a Pre-Doctoral Fellow at Harvard Humanitarian Initiative and Northeastern University, where she is a PhD candidate in Political Science. Her research examines international cooperation and crisis politics, with a specific focus on philanthrocapitalism in global health emergencies.

On February 5, World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus asked the international community for $675 million to fund a global response plan for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, including $61.5 million to cover urgent needs between February and April of 2020. Funding in the early stages of an outbreak can mean the difference between virus containment and further spread.

As of February 28, closing out the first month of the three-month plan, more than 2,800 people have lost their lives and WHO has received only $1.45 million. This constitutes just 2.4 percent of the $61.5 million urgent appeal. It remains unclear how much has been pledged toward the total $675 million ask. While WHO reports donors have pledged an additional $29.9 million toward the urgent response, promises of future cash do little good in fast-moving crises.

As the virus continues to spread, with cases spiking in South Korea, Iran, and Italy last week, the international community’s financial response is emblematic of problems that run much deeper.

This post examines funding mechanisms in the context of this latest Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). My primary takeaway is that influx of cash during crises is a short-term necessity that distracts from much-needed long-term investment in global health infrastructure.

This piece builds on a six-part series of posts by Josh Busby covering background on this new virus, politics of declaring a PHEIC, international travel restrictions, China’s domestic response, next steps for this response and future outbreaks, and steps for individual and community preparedness.

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Now What? Health Security after the 2020 Coronavirus

On the same day that the World Health Organization said that there were now only 889 new cases of the coronavirus in China (down from 1749 on Wednesday), there were also reports of new outbreaks in two Chinese prisons. We also witnessed the deaths of two people in Iran (apparently from COVID-19) and an outbreak in Korea–now up to more than 150 casesfueled by a superspreader associated with a strange cult and no known connection to China.

In the U.S., there are both reports of several hundred people getting out of quarantine after 14 days with a clean bill of health as well as the amazing story that the State Department overruled the Centers for Disease Control in allowing fourteen people infected with the coronavirus to be on the same plane of evacuees from the Princess Cruises ship.

So, we might be cautiously optimistic that the worst is behind us, or maybe not. It’s looking like the disease will not be contained in China, with there being local transmission taking off in a few other countries.

The first post in this series provided background on the virus, the second examined the declaration of a global health emergency, the third explored international travel restrictions, and the fourth reflected on China’s internal policies. In this fifth and final post of the series, I write about what policies the international community and individual states need to implement to contain this outbreak and prevent the next one.

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China and the Coronavirus: Getting It Right or Very Wrong?

In the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak, the stories on China’s quarantine and population control measures seem downright crazy, with people needing hall passes to go out of their apartments, buildings turning away residents who had been out of town, periodic temperature checks on residents, drones being deployed to disinfect villages or to shame people to go indoors or put on a mask, and health workers deployed in train stations checking phone records of visitors to see where they have been.

Over the weekend, the New York Times reported the extent of the measures China has imposed on its citizens to control the coronavirus outbreak, which encompass about half of China’s entire population, some 760 million people.

Are these draconian measures working? News out of China is confusing. The last few days have seen a decline in the number of new cases which raises hopes that the herculean efforts imposed by the Chinese government (implemented with zeal by local actors) are succeeding.

However, international observers, like Dr. Tony Fauci of the National Institutes of Health, warn that that it too early to conclude the worst is over: “I think we need a few more days to determine if that’s real or variability.” Others like mathematician John Allen Poulos have made similar points.

It is not clear when China’s workforce of some 700 million will get back to work after a three week hiatus and what that will do to infection numbers.

In my previous posts in this series, I laid out basic attributes of the virus, the declaration by the WHO of an international health emergency, and the role played by international travel restrictions. In this post, I want to review whether or not China’s efforts have made the situation better or worse.

My basic takeaway is that the same authoritarianism that gave China the ability to respond to the virus is the same one that allowed the outbreak to get as bad as it did in the first place.

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Shut it Down? The International Response to the Coronavirus

If you’ve been following the coronavirus outbreak, you’ve probably heard about the Princess Cruises ship, quarantined in Japan with thousands of passengers on board. It sounds like the veritable cruise ship from hell. Of the 1219 passengers screened for the virus, some 355 passengers tested positive for COVID-19, including some 44 Americans. The Americans were finally being evacuated today after having been quarantined on the ship since February 5th.

The horror of confining thousands to a boat underscores the incredible measures governments have undertaken to try to contain the virus. The Princess Cruises ship harkens back to the original meaning of the word quarantine as Howard Markel reminds us:

Quarantine laws — from the Italian “quaranta giorni,” meaning 40 days— were first developed in Venice in 1370, to keep the bubonic plague at bay by banning any ships and goods for the time it seemed to take most epidemics to burn themselves out.

Howard Markel, New YorK Times

But, were these extreme measures justified? This is the third in the series on the coronavirus COVID-19. In my first post, I provided some background on the nature of the virus, from what we know. In the second, I reflected on the belated declaration of the Public Health Emergency of International Concern by the World Health Organization in late January 2020.

In this post, I want to reflect on both the international restrictions on travel to and from China. In the next post, I’ll reflect on China’s internal response.

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Pull the Alarm? The Coronavirus as a Global Emergency

In my first post on the coronavirus outbreak, I reviewed the nature of the disease. Here, I want to ask and answer the first of four questions I posed about whether a global public health emergency should have been declared earlier. In the next post, I’ll tackle the appropriateness of China’s quarantine measures, the adequacy of its overall response, and what should be done going forward.

The response to the COVID-19 coronavirus has been draconian. With the lunar year vacation looming at the end of January, China shut down travel out of the city of Wuhan on January 23rd (and severely restricted entry as well), soon extending to the wider province of Hubei, with a population of 58 million people.

Commerce and public outings in much of the rest of the China have also dropped markedly with cities like Shanghai looking like ghost towns after the government extending the lunar holiday and people stayed away from malls and other public places.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization finally declared the COVID-19 outbreak to be a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) on January 30, 2020 after having deferred making such a declaration the week before.

In making the declaration, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus praised the Chinese response and argued against travel and trade restrictions with China, raising concerns he was being overly deferential to the Chinese government.

In response, the United States elevated its travel advisory warning citizens not to travel there and said it would deny entry to foreign nationals who recently visited China. On January 31, three American air carriers — American, Delta, and United suspended all flights to China temporarily, with some airlines cancelling all flights to China and Hong Kong through the end of April.

Should a PHEIC been declared earlier? Has it had an impact?

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The Coronavirus: Global Health is High Politics

Even if you don’t study global health, you’ve probably been following the coronavirus outbreak in China with a mix of dread and fascination. Li Wenliang, the whistleblower Chinese doctor, who himself succumbed to the virus riveted the world. His death was mourned in China, even as the government initially censored conversations about his passing.

The Chinese government’s problematic response has created one of the most significant political challenges the Xi Jinping government has faced. Today, the heads of the Communist party in Hubei province and the city of Wuhan, the epicenter for the virus, were both fired.

This episode reminds us that global health is high politics. The stakes of a global outbreak for international relations, the global economy, and trade are enormous, independent of the impact on human lives. The nearly 1500 who have already died is a major tragedy, and we do not know if things are finally getting better.

This week, just as some analysts thought new cases had peaked, the Chinese government widened the definition to include suspected cases, since the diagnostic techniques for verifying infections have often produced false negatives, showing no infection even when people are symptomatic and ultimately do have the virus.

I’ve been hoping to have a roundtable on the topic on the Duck from global health experts, but many of the top folks I reached out to are just overwhelmed. If you are interested, do send me a note, as we would love to hear from you.

Here are the questions I posed, which I’m going to try and answer in a series of posts. This first post is mostly background on what I’ve learned about the coronavirus, but I ultimately hope to answer the following questions:

  1. What do you make of the WHO’s decision to declare a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)? Too late? Impact? 
  2. What do you make of various quarantine measures and airline flight cancellations to China?
  3. What’s your take on the adequacy of the Chinese response?
  4. What’s needed at this point to prevent this outbreak from becoming worse on the global level?
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The Right to Return…to What? Venezuelan Migrants Caught Between Conflicts

This is a guest post by Shauna N. Gillooly is a PhD Candidate at the University of California, Irvine and a visiting researcher at Pontifica Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá, Colombia. Her research focuses on peacebuilding and transitional justice in contexts of continued political violence.

            In 2015, Venezuela’s already-in decline economy took yet another turn for the worse. Then-historically low oil prices, along with internal mismanagement of infrastructure by Maduro’s administration, led to millions of Venezuelans leaving the country in search of a more stable life. For many of them, the obvious first stop was neighboring country Colombia. The following year, after the signing of a historic peace agreement between the Colombian government and leftist guerrilla group The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), saw the lowest levels of violence in the country in a generation. Colombia’s peace economy was on an upswing, and as the situation got more complex in Venezuela, Colombia relaxed documentation requirements for Venezuelans entering the country—no passport required.  

Photo Credit: Fernando Vergara, AP
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America’s Democratic Shortcomings and the “Liberal International Order”

This is a guest post from Manuel Reinert, a PhD candidate in international relations at American University and consultant with the World Bank.

As the COVID-19 crisis illustrates, international cooperation is crucial to address global issues. International organizations (IOs), created in the so-called rules-based “liberal international order” (LIO) after WWII, have been extensively involved in the response. The United Nations (UN) launched a global humanitarian response plan. UN’s agencies, principally the World Health Organization (WHO), have provided worldwide data, guidelines, and technical support. The World Bank deployed fast-track financing for pandemic-related challenges in emerging economies and approved a coronavirus vaccine financing plan, and the International Monetary Fund made its $1 trillion lending capacity available to member-states.

Multilateralism nevertheless failed in many ways. The G20 and G7 hardly offered a unified front and the WHO’s response was heavily criticized. In particular, the United States (US) accused the WHO of covering up the initial epidemic at China’s behest. The feud culminated with the suspension of US funding and announcement of complete withdrawal. Hindsight allows for evaluations of the strengths and weaknesses of the WHO’s response. Like other IOs, the WHO has modest resources for a broad mandate: its competency depends on the leverage member states leave it and how much politics they play. In fact, China’s growing influence within this organization is linked to the recent US disinterest in IOs. Multilateralism is not perfect but remains essential to manage such crises, not to mention critical global challenges such as climate change.

According to its proponents, the LIO is organized under guiding principles, including: multilateral institutions, open markets, liberal democracy, and leadership by the US. Liberal internationalists denounce the rise of authoritarian powers and receding democratic values to explain the decay of these principles. They also blame Donald Trump for deserting the LIO leadership. Under his administration, the US has indeed abandoned major international accords such as the Paris Agreement on climate and the Iran nuclear deal (JCPOA), blasted the role of IOs, and adopted an aggressive diplomacy, apart from some notable exceptions. Consequently, numerous analyses have been announcing the ‘twilight’ of the LIO and preparing for what comes next. Others have claimed that this order was doomed to fail, while the eternal debate on American involvement in world affairs is regularly reignited.

Most of these analyses are missing two important components. First, they attribute the demise of the LIO to external factors and a strategically flawed foreign policy, while failing to see that such weakening is directly linked to America’s democratic shortcomings. The Trump presidency is the symptom of institutional dysfunctions that make the US less democratic. This decline is the result of rigid institutions that disproportionately favor a conservative minority.

Second, they negate the extent to which the US has used this order and escaped its rules when convenient. America has a history of ambiguity towards multilateralism: even if Donald Trump took the subversion of rules-based institutions to a new level, the trend did not start with him. The conservative minority has regularly eroded the LIO foundations. Ultimately, America’s ability to improve democracy will be decisive to advance multilateralism and a genuinely rules-based international system.

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COVID: An Extraordinary Crisis, but Ordinary Political Patterns

This is a guest post from Tana Johnson, an Associate Professor of Public Affairs and Political Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  Her publications include the book Organizational Progeny: Why Governments Are Losing Control over the Proliferating Structures of Global Governance.

COVID-19, which disregards national borders and threatens all countries, is a “problem without a passport.”  The usual prescription is to 1) work through international organizations (IOs), 2) collaborate on collective long-term solutions, and 3) defer to experts.  Yet in 2020, countries defied each prescription, producing three patterns.

Patterns: IOs, Interests, and Experts

Pattern #1 is the tendency to blame international organizations, particularly the World Health Organization (WHO).  With its drastic decision to cut off funding and intended withdrawal from the World Health Organization, the U.S. government has been an aggressive critic.  But more than 100 countries also endorsed the European Union’s call for an independent investigation into the WHO’s handling of the disease. 

Pattern #2 is the temptation to put short-term or narrow interests above longer-term or broader ones.  During the crisis’ initial months, dozens of countries implemented export restrictions, travel bans, and unilateral vaccine development – all despite the World Health Organization’s objections. 

Pattern #3 is a divided reaction to experts.  Schisms have arisen at the subnational, national, and international levels.  Some people have readily deferred to public health officials – but other people have challenged them, questioning the efficacy or legality of their recommendations.

Why, in the midst of a pandemic, would governments question or punish the very IO that’s supposed to guide the world’s response?  Since this disease is a shared threat and can’t be defeated instantaneously, why aren’t countries concentrating on what would be useful for the larger international community, well into the future?  And why, in a crisis of public health, is anyone refusing to follow public health experts?  Work in International Relations (IR) dispels the mystery – and shows that although the pandemic may be extraordinary, its political patterns are quite ordinary.

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Meet Our Guest Ducks (Again)

With the coronavirus, it has been hard for many of us to just keep going, let alone set aside time to blog (certainly not as much as we otherwise might!).

So, we wanted to acknowledge that by giving our guest Ducks from last year an additional semester (at least!) to have this platform for talking about substantive issues in international relations and the academy.

We are thrilled that folks have stayed on. Please read their work to date and be on the lookout for new posts. There are some really good ones on a range of topics. If you have an interest in becoming a guest contributor come January, let any of the permanent members know!

The Current Guest Contributors to the Duck of Minerva

Bridging the Gap
Meg K. Guliford
Anne Harrington ⚑ 
Cullen Hendrix
Peter Henne 
Luke Perez 
Alexandra Stark
Ajay Verghese

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