How Has the Pandemic Reshaped U.S. Foreign Relations Histories?

Anne L. Foster (Indiana State University) and Petra Goedde (Temple University)
Editors, Diplomatic History

Covid-19 has laid bare the tension between globalism and nationalism, the promise and limits of modern medicine, the persistence of inequality, legacies of imperialism and racism.  We have witnessed human beings adapt with remarkable resilience, but also the toll the took on families and individuals beyond the threat of death and disease: isolation, job loss, financial insecurity, uncertainty.

As university teachers and mothers, we scrambled in the spring of 2020 to adjust our living and teaching.  As foreign relations scholars and journal editors we were thinking about what all this meant for our work.  And so we invited a group of scholars to reflect on this question: What has living through this pandemic revealed or changed about your conception of your scholarship? 

We are happy to announce that the twenty-three short essays they wrote have just been published in the June 2021 issue of Diplomatic History, all of which are currently free to read and download online.

Continue reading “How Has the Pandemic Reshaped U.S. Foreign Relations Histories?”

Pandemipolitics and the (Potential) Unmaking of the Liberal World Order

Gregorio Bettiza
University of Exeter

Cross-posted from Pandemipolitics

The global politics of the current Covid-19 pandemic (i.e. ‘pandemipolitics’) intersects in complex ways with the making, ongoing crisis, and potential unmaking of the liberal world order. What the characteristics of this order are is a hotly debated issue in international relations. Rather than using a clear-cut definition, I tend to think about the liberal order as coming together around four interlocking features which constitute our contemporary, post-Cold War, globalized international system.

First, this order is characterized by a progressive growth of international institutions and rules designed to collectively govern multiple aspects of world affairs. Second, the liberal order is marked by the spread of capitalist modes of production and the forces of economic globalization, largely organized around neo-liberal logics which require the scaling back of the state and thrive on the (relatively) free movement of goods, finance, and people worldwide. Third, this order facilitates and legitimizes the global diffusion of liberal values and institutions, including democratic regimes and universal human rights norms, while simultaneously delegitimizing and stigmatizing non-liberal worldviews and identities. Fourth, and finally, driving many of these processes and structures, are ideas, practices, and interests largely stemming from powerful Western actors. Continue reading “Pandemipolitics and the (Potential) Unmaking of the Liberal World Order”