If in the future the coronavirus crisis leads to an increase in the government’s domestic policy, protectionism and nationalism, humanity may face an “even larger” and “more deadly” pandemic, the political scientist warned.
Ian Goldin, a professor of globalization and development at Oxford University, a former adviser to Nelson Mandela and a former president of the World Bank, told CNBC that the direction that global politics has taken since the pandemic can have far-reaching negative consequences.
“If more nationalism and protectionism comes out of it, the result will be an even bigger pandemic in the future, which could be more deadly, climate change, new financial crises, cyber attacks, more tension, the Cold War 2.0 and this is very worrying,” Goldin said.
“So we have a choice. Either the pandemic teaches us to be more globalized in politics, to stop the next pandemic, to cooperate, to restore global growth, or we will become more national, in which case we are in a downward spiral. “
Goldin predicts a widespread pandemic for several years, warning in his 2014 book “Butterfly defectand the 2018 BBC series that the outbreak was the most likely cause of the next global economic crisis.
But he told CNBC that the Covid-19 pandemic and its economic consequences were compounded by the adoption of nationalist policies and the failure of global governance.
“I do not blame WHO (World Health Organization) – I think that she did everything possible in the circumstances, but she did not have sufficient resources, she was not given the necessary authority. And people are to blame. because they are shareholders, the major governments of the world that finance and direct it, ”he said, speaking to CNBC over the phone.
“This is an inability to control the system, especially the leading powers, and in fact the United States has turned its back on the world, which exacerbated it,” he said. “So at the highest level, this is a reflection of the inability to manage globalization.”
Moving forward, he added, the pandemic should teach the world that it needs closer cooperation between countries, but he warned that this is not what is happening.
“We see countries trying to install firewalls. Unfortunately, there is no wall high enough to prevent a pandemic, climate change, or any of the serious risks, ”Goldin said. “But the high walls haunt the ideas, people, technologies, investments, markets we need to prosper.”