[Sejong Policy Brief] No. 2020-21 (December 14, 2020)
Pandemic, International Order in Crisis and Global Governance:
Greater Expectation of the New U.S. Administration
Dr. CHUNG Eunsook
Director of the Dept. of Security Strategy Studies,The Sejong Institute
■ COVID-19 Pandemic: vaccine development news, expectations and concerns
- At this point of December 2020, news of a few vaccine developments (U.S., U.K., Russia, China) is now giving a ray of hope that the
pandemic of the century, COVID-19, will subside within 2021. However, now is a crucial time as the current global health
governance crisis may worsen the new cold war between the U.S. and China and accelerate competitions for the post-pandemic
■ The former Trump administration’s retreat from multilateralism and global leadership
- The negative impact of President Trump’s past four years of “America First” diplomatic stance, which dismissed multilateralism and
leaned towards nationalism, on international order and global governance is expected to be corrected under the new Biden
administration. The Trump administration decided to withdraw from a number of international agreements, treaties, and
organizations, such as the Paris Climate Agreement, and the World Health Organization under the United Nations.
■ The new American government’s multilateralism, international leadership, and diplomatic stance that contrast with those of the
former Trump administration
- Joe Biden, who will be inaugurated as the 46th American president on January 20, 2021, has criticized the former Trump
administration’s “America First” diplomatic stance and pledged to restore global leadership of the U.S. by reviving multilateralism
and democratic alliances. The new American government (2021-25) is expected to contribute to the post-pandemic global
governance and international order.
■ The urgent domestic tasks of the new American government: politics, society, health, economy
- However, urgent domestic problems are on the agenda of the new American government as of now in December 2020. They are to
achieve domestic political stability and integration of social races in the aftermath of the unprecedented election and to overcome
the current health crisis and economic shock while the U.S. ranks the world’s number one in terms of confirmed patients and deaths
due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Only after dealing with the urgent issues, the U.S. will establish a new international role in the
post-pandemic international order.
■ Content of the Brief
- This brief (i) provides an analysis of the “crisis of the international order” that recently became more complex amid the COVID-19
pandemic along with traditional aspects such as nationalism and geopolitical competition among powerful nations, (ii) introduces
multiple global challenges that can only be multilaterally solved and analyzes the “governance crisis” that met the COVID-19
pandemic. Based on these, then, there are also (iii) expectations of the new Biden administration of the U.S. and possible constraint
factors and (iv) policy implications.
▶ For a full article in Korean, please follow the link:
※ This article is written based on the author’s personal opinions and does not reflect the views of the Sejong Institute.
※ Translator’s note: This is a summarized unofficial translation of the original paper which was written in Korean.
All references should be made to the original paper.