The Covid-19 pandemic has reshaped the geopolitical landscape, accentuating the rivalry between China and the United States for global leadership. Environmental issues, however, have remained on the public agenda, with climate change as a major global threat.
Esade researchers have analysed and assessed these threats, proposing solutions and lessons to be learned from all of them.
Reaching the peak of the holiday season, Do Better offers a compilation of the most-read articles on globalisation published this year. Check them out for insights and ideas on what global trends are changing the world in which we live.
Coronavirus and Spanish economic policy: impact and responses
This article by EsadeEcPol was one of the first assessments on the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic and a policy proposal on how the government and the European Union should face it. It drew a lot of media attention as it was the first document comparing the impact of the coronavirus crisis with the 2008 financial crisis.
The conclusions predicted that the consequences for the Spanish economy were going to be worse than for other countries due to its demography, the relative abundance of small and medium-sized businesses and the high level of dependence on the service sector. The authors also urged for a coordinated EU response.
"Economic policy must be aimed at protecting jobs and preventing profitable companies from closing due to a lack of liquidity," concluded the authors just three days after the declaration of the state of emergency.
Green-zone travelling: A pan-European strategy to save tourism
In this Policy Insight, EsadeEcPol proposed to elevate the green zoning approach followed by many EU member states for their regions to the level of the European Union. As the incidence of the virus decreases, mobility between these regions will normalise, following a "green zoning" strategy.
The idea is simple: allowing the mobility of people between "green zones" of different European countries through a network of regions certified by European institutions. This proposal aimed to save the summer tourist season in southern Europe, thus mitigating the enormous economic costs that the closure to international tourism could cause for these countries.
"European green zones represent a unique opportunity for the EU to demonstrate leadership, creating a win-win situation for all countries, with a huge direct positive impact on the lives of millions of European citizens," stated the researchers from EsadeEcPol.
Exceptional Atlantic storm teaches us an expensive lesson
A powerful Atlantic storm named Gloria, and a very high-pressure system over northern Europe, pushed a storm front towards the southeast of the Iberian Peninsula, resulting in a very large and intense storm that affected all of Catalonia for four days.
Its effect on our anarchic and largely unplanned system of construction and development resulted in numerous deaths and substantial economic damage. But it also provided many lessons, as summarised in this article by Esade professor Rafael Sardà.
Rivers, coastlines and deltas are dynamic and inter-connected natural systems, as well as habitats that shelter ancient ecosystems. A failure to understand these facts means endangering ourselves, and more seriously, others. "Due to our occupation of lands that are part of bio-physical processes, we have excessively denatured our natural systems," warned Sardà, urging us to "change our relationship with nature as soon as possible."
Responding to global systemic shocks: applying lessons from previous crises to Covid-19
By the end of March, it was crystal clear that the Covid-19 pandemic was a global systemic shock with the potential to turn the most advanced economies upside down. In this Policy Insight, EsadeEcPol researchers focused on analysing previous crises and looked for lessons to address the economic impact of the pandemic.
With the SARS outbreak as a background, the authors focused their assessment on the need for international support to contain the pandemic, strengthening social safety nets and measuring its global impacts.
"The concurrence of the shock, along with the globalised nature of economic and population flows, makes it necessary but nearly impossible to respond to the pandemic in a coordinated and supranational manner," warned the authors.
Covid-19 and geopolitics: first impacts
"The pandemic probably won't change the world, but it may contribute to accelerating some of the trends that were already beginning to appear in the previous period," wrote Esade professor Angel Castiñeira. In his article on Covid-19 and geopolitics, he reviewed the first consequences of the pandemic, foreshadowing many of the tensions over responsibility for Covid-19 and the race for its solution: a vaccine the great world powers are still struggling to develop.
The article analyses seven global trends and how these are contributing to reshape global order, including the vacuum in global leadership, the decline of multilateralism, a slowed-down globalisation, the rise of state sovereignty, and the rise of Eurasia.
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