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With the world now seemingly in the grips of a second-wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, ‘lockdown’ measures are resulting in economic contractions that are closing businesses and shrinking GDP, globally. With the exception of China, there are grim prospects for the immediate economic futures of emerging and developing economies, especially in Asia. As growth shrinks, socio-political tensions are rising in precisely the areas and countries that are most vulnerable and in need of assistance. With their supply chains and partnerships built through open borders, liberalization, and globalization now being challenged in unpredictable ways, this Global Insights panel offers a critical examination of how the West’s economic ties to Asia are being transformed. Does the future hold promise for Asian markets and Western partnerships? Will our global political economy emerge from COVID-19 with stronger, albeit different, liberal ties and connections, or will a rise in protectionism, border controls, and nationalism irreparably alter the supply chains and economies we took for granted?
Amitav Acharya is Distinguished Professor and the UNESCO Chair in Transnational Challenges and Governance and American University, Washington DC and co-author (with Barry Buzan), most recently of The Making of Global International Relations: Origins and Evolution of IR at Its Centenary (Cambridge, 2019).
Fumihito (Fumi) Gotoh, University of Warwick, is researching East Asian politics and political economies, varieties of capitalism, and politics of finance. His monograph, Japanese Resistance to American Financial Hegemony: Global versus Domestic Social Norms, was published from Routledge RIPE Series in October 2019, while his articles have appeared in Review of International Political Economy and The Pacific Review.
John Ravenhill is a Professor of Political Science at the University of Waterloo, and the Chair of the Political Science Department. Having formerly served as the Director of the Balsillie School, John’s research focuses on global political economy.