Context – India will need to make difficult judgments about the changing world order and find its place in a more complex and shifting geopolitical landscape.
Established geopolitics has been transformed in the Post-pandemic global order. Some of the trends have been intensified by pandemic like rise of nationalism and some new trends have been established.
What are the global dynamics intensified by Pandemic?
Although COVID pandemic was a global emergency, but it intensified the nationalism instead of multilateral cooperation:
- Dynamics of Vaccine nationalism – Developed country manages to secure doses of vaccine for its own citizens. It undermines equitable access to vaccines. It further disadvantages countries with fewer resources and bargaining power.
- Decline of multilateralism – International institutions like WTO and multilateral processes have been weakened. There was no International cooperation in developing an effective vaccine and responding to COVID-19 health impacts.
What are the new global dynamics established by pandemic?
- Geopolitics has been transformed- There is a shift from economy and political power and influence from the trans-Atlantic to the trans-Pacific region.
- East Asian and South-East Asian countries have managed the crisis more effectively and are the first to register the green shoots of recovery.
- Revival of growth in China– China has been the first major economy to bounce back from virus slump.
- China has registered growth in the trade and investment flows and the regional supply chain have been strengthened.
As a result, the power gap among the world’s two most important powers US and China will shrink
What are the needs to revive multilateral cooperation?
Globalization driven by rapid technological change has also brough new challenges with itself like; climate change, cyber security, space security along with the existing global issues like terrorism, drug trafficking, money laundering and ocean and terrestrial pollution.
Above challenges require collaborative, not competitive solution. Present existing disconnect between the nations if continued, will not be able to deal with these challenges.
- Countries around the world should stop engaging in overly nationalistic behaviors.
- Countries particularly those with technological and financial capabilities, needs to pool their resources together to work on an effective and affordable anti-virus vaccine.
- There is dire need of statesman-like leadership to mobilize action on a global scale and orient the world in the right direction
What opportunities exist for India?
Due to China’s aggressive posture across the globe and blatant “weaponization of economic interdependence” as seen in its punitive commercial action against Australia, India is being seen as a potential and credible countervailing power to resist Chinese ambitions.
This opportunity should be leveraged by India to encourage a significant flow of capital, technology and knowledge to accelerate its own modernization by taking following step:
- By Positioning itself as most open and competitive destination for trade and investment
- By adopting its past mobilization techniques like leading the Non-Aligned Movement in an earlier time, large majority of middle and emerging powers can align with India.
Global dynamic challenges led by rapid technological change or other challenges such as terrorism, drug trafficking and money laundering can possibly overcome through multilateral approaches and adherence to the principle of equitable burden-sharing.