Global pandemic has largely impacted the world political, economic and cultural phenomena with breeding many new components. The leadership has also been in a new face, influenced by new indicators along with existing others. This article found the health management capability, environmental viability, HDI index and intelligence capacities as the new components of determining global leadership along with existing political, economic, cultural and military might. The security paradigm has also been shaped in new face by admitting health threat as the global concern. Collective coordination with an aim to deal global threat like epidemic has been immensely needed. Information sharing, scientific and technological cooperation are newly articulated as the core components of global cooperation. The sign of nationalism, racism, xenophobia has been also resurfaced across the world.
Global Pandemic, Global Leadership, Post-Corona World Order, Health Security
The world has faced new pandemic Corona-Virus was mainly rooted from Wuhan, province of China. The precedence of such pandemic is not new to the world; rather many pandemics like HIV AIDS and MERS have been here for long decades. The data estimated from WHO until 2020, Nearly 32 million peoples have died due to solely for HIV AIDS and 858 for MERS (Chughtai, 2020). Now the new pandemic Corona-virus have also resulted around 371,000 fatalities across the world until the end of May, 2020 in according to data from John Hopkins University. The number of fatalities has been uproar day by day, but remains unchecked till date. China was the first affected country has been able to recover from new infections of Corona-virus. Therefore, the Europe has been struggling to manage the cases of Corona-virus amid the growing the number of fatalities and infections geometrically. The European nations Italy, Spain, France have been heavily affected by this pandemic corona-virus. The Italian prime minister has expressed his grave disappointment over the unrestraint wave of deaths as the news media have reported. World Health Organization precautions USA to be the next hub of corona-virus fatalities as it observes the growth of infections and deaths along with their unpreparedness in the dealing of coronavirus. Turkey, the central point of Europe and the host nation of millions of refugees are also struggling with this pandemic, as it records 4,585 deaths due to Corona Virus. The Middle East including the most oil resourced gulf nations, Egypt, Syria, Palestinian have also come under attack of corona-virus. The two holy mosques of the Muslim Baitullah and Masjid E Nababi including other holy sites of different religion have been shut down due to fear of spreading corona-virus (Aljazeera, 20 March, 2020). However, it is seemed the world is moving around new pathogen how it infects, number of fatalities and tackling of the outbreak. The global politics, economy, culture and almost every field have been impacted heavily due to this pandemic. The world is now moving into new global leadership along with calculating its existing parameters. In this article, the global leadership has been mainly analyzed in a new circumstance due to coronavirus with especial focus on three dominant stats like US, Germany and China.
The global leadership is attributing a dominant role, attitudes and behavior that have impacts over the world. It refers to larger involvement, volunteerism, cooperation, connectivity and responsibility in the world affairs. Though the global leadership has no such agreed definition, the researcher have taken a definition, “A global leader is an individual who inspires a group of people to willingly pursue a positive vision in an effectively organized fashion while fostering individual and collective growth in a context characterized by significant levels of complexity, flow, and presence” (Mendenhall, Reiche, Bird, and Osland’s 2012). According to Harvard Business Review, global leadership will possess several key critical skills like global mindset, global entrepreneurship, and global citizenship. (Cabrera 2012)
According to International Monetary Finance, United States stood at highest with possessing GDP estimated value $20.544 trillion. The China has the second position with belonging 13.4 trillion, Japan at third with $4.97 trillion, Germany at forth with $4.00 trillion and United Kingdom stood at fifth with possessing $2.83 trillion. The data shows the fresh supremacy of United States in terms of GDP seize. However another superpower of cold war era, the Russia has stood at 12th while it belongs $1.67 trillion. In terms of GDP growth rate, China has been able to attain progress relatively more than US. China’s GDP growth rate according to World Bank was 7.76% up to 2018 while US secured 1.68%. But in terms GDP seize US is still considered as the hegemon of economy.
US since the end of cold war have emerged as the hegemon over unipolar world. In the meantime, the third wave of democracy in according to Samuel P. Huntington and the fourth wave of democracy in 2010 with Arab revolution in view of Larry diamond consolidated US influence over the world (Huntington 1991) (Diamond 2011). However, the regional power, EU emergence and its growing role playing in the global order, economic and political boom of Germany led the US hegemonic role into backward in somewhat. The China with their vast GDP growth and wide scale business network have also started political wrangling with US particularly in Korean peninsula, Iran, and African issues. A trade war seemed though it is mainly economic rivalry but a political competition has also been ongoing between US and China. It is presumed as the battle of overcoming each other for being determiner of the global order. US due to domestic divisive political leadership and lack of unified policy formulation process could not play the effective role in last several years particularly in Syria, Yemen, Iraq, Iran, Palestine and Korea issues (Page 2019). At the same time, China has played maximum role in the last several years by backing up its political allied countries including North Korea, Iran, Myanmar, and African countries. Germany in the meantime also continues its involvement with global affairs. It maintains a leading role in European Union particularly migration issues, BREXIT policy, Greece Economic Crisis and other global affairs like Iran nuclear issues, Yemen war, Gulf crisis and global counter terrorism and militancy initiatives.
Military capabilities have always been calculated as essential indicators for measuring power sphere of any nation. United States from cold war era has been maintaining super power position in its military might. According to Global Fire power 2020, United States scored power index PWRLNDX 0.0606 in 2020. Russia the super power of cold war positioned second and scored 0.0681. However, China ranked third with 0.0691 score. Germany in military capabilities placed 13th with 0.2186 score. Therefore in military capabilities, The US has been apparently powerful than other powerful nation in terms of its nuclear capabilities, sophisticated war technology, aircrafts, robotics weapon, war ship and ground military force. US have also consolidated its power through dispersing its military base across the world.
US and its’ western allies from cold war era have been emphasizing over the expansion of its culture including western values and norms. As a part of this process, US mission at different countries have continued its cultural exchange program, training facilities and promotion of tourism industries. Samuel P Huntington in his book ‘Clash of Civilization and the Remaking of World Order’ indicated the decay of western culture in different nations including Muslim majority nations, China and others (Huntington 1996). However, in recent days the Germany is also booming its indigenous culture and tradition as counteractive to English language based western culture (Gardt, & Hüppauf 2004). Simultaneously China has also widened its investment towards cultural space. It has now opened up its tourism for the foreigners to visit, initiated cultural exchange program, extended its cooperation, and expanded its collaboration and exchange programs in education, science, technology and research (Pan 2006). China very recently has made a new Cinema hub is likely competitive with US Los Angeles. Though China has made progress, US is still having dominant influence over the world with its cultural elements like English language, Hollywood movie, literature, dress up, food habit, and over all lifestyle.
Corona virus: New Indicators
In the face of widespread global pandemic Corona-virus, the world has to cope up with number of issues with a new perspective. The global health is now becoming the core indicators of determining the global power. The Novel Corona-virus originated from China now has been brought under control due to its strict imposition of state regulation, effective health management and medical innovation. China, the first nation discovered the genetic sequence of this new virus and decoded it for over the world. China is also extending its health cooperation to the world particularly to several European countries where the virus mainly got outbreak. It has also increased its’ cooperation to US, Asian nations and other friend nations with sending medical instruments including test kits, PPE, Surgical Mask. It has also increased its cooperation with outer world in scientific exploration and knowledge aiming to vaccine development. On the other hand, the United States in recent days has struggled to manage the outbreak of coronavirus in its own country, shown their lack of preparation and shortage in terms of medical instruments, medicine and manpower. It has very recently asked many Asian and European countries including Turkey, Germany, China and even Bangladesh to provide them assistance in terms of health equipment like mask, test kits and PPE (Borger 2020). At the same time, due to decreasing fund for medical research by the government led by Donald Trump in its’ early year of power in 2016, US is now expecting to be relying on the invention of vaccine, medicine and scientific information from other countries. Recently Donald Trump was reportedly found at global media, proposed the German organization to sell their upcoming nearly developed vaccine. This proposal was though immediately rejected by the organization; however it has demonstrated the weakness of US to deal with pandemic coronavirus. It has also denoted the fragile health management of US as got badly impacted after repealing the Obama Health care policy in 2016. Therefore, Germany in the meantime has also shown its preparedness by taking stronger measure with a view to restraining the corona virus outbreak. Though the death of Germany also stood around 8736 until the end of May in according to Worldometer, Germany has attained much progress towards creating vaccine for this coronavirus. It has impressively implemented the WHO instructions, three T policy including Test, Treat, Track.
Human Development Index
According to UNDP HDI index, Germany has stood fourth with securing 0.939 point. United States ranked 14th due to score 0.920 point while China is seen at the lower position 85th as its’ score is 0.758. However in terms of Growth national Income per capital, the US is at better position with possessing 56,140 $ while Germany has $46,946 and China has $16,127. That denotes though China has economic progress but have little progress in Human Development Index. At the same time, European nation, Germany is at comparatively better position than US and China.
According to International Energy Agency report of 2019, China is the responsible for high carbon emissions nearly 9258 (MtCO2), while the Germany has low carbon emission rate nearly 683 (MtCO2) and US is responsible for 4896 (MtCO2) carbon emission. According to World Economic Forum 2019, China has produced 27.2% global carbon emission and got ranked the highest. US, the second largest carbon producer shared 14.6% of carbon emission. Germany was placed 6th while it produced 2.2% of global carbon emission. Germany has been echoing it national policy with UN climate action plan and Paris Agreement 2016. As the Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel has been known as Climate Chancellor for her great enthusiasm and volunteerism in implementing climate action plan taken by UN (Cheallacháin, 2019). Germany established its’ Coal Commission in order to formulate national actions plan to reduce carbon emission while it also vehemently supported EU action plan to zero net carbon emission. Germany has largely focused on global carbon emission and Environmental consequences of economic production in last G7 summit 2019. US, the second carbon emitter has withdrawn its leadership from the Paris Agreement in 2019. It was momentous backdrop of US advocacy and leadership on global climate change protection. On the other hand, China, the largest carbon emitter is turning into new face with increasing its enthusiasm in assisting UN climate action plan. China recently has taken many new steps to protect the environment including minimizing the acceleration of coal consumption, improving air quality and assisting the industry to minimize its county limit carbon emission as a whole. It has been also showing its enthusiasm to play more active role in the global effort of minimizing environmental threat (Gallagher & Zhang 2019). However, in face of Novel coronavirus, the world is assumed to rush at the environmental security and reduction of carbon emission that minimize the risk of out breaking another pandemic in upcoming days. So, the leadership in climate change is seen as influential categories to define the leadership over the globe.
Information is going to be a determining factor of global leadership in upcoming era as the world is witnessing large mobilization into Information and Communication Technology. In this case, the US always has played a gigantic role due to have large scale intelligence network and communication channel. This information has also come from academic research, scientific exploration and cooperation with allied countries. However, recently US foreign ministry Mike Pompeo has accused china of not providing information regarding Novel coronavirus that puts the world into danger as they are not prepared and having enough time to take preventive measures. That’s why the US and Europe cannot prevent the outbreak coronavirus in their own countries. Germany always continues consolidating its strength of information through sharing common source with its European allies. However, China has progressed with instituting independent research organization, extending cooperation with western academics and researchers, strengthening its intelligence network with allied nations.
Some new Components of Global Order
The safety from the disease is the key component of Human Security was coined by Dr. Mahbub Ul Haq (Haq, 1994). However before it, the idea of national security had been used to merely refer to military, political and cultural might and capabilities, now the term has been in a new turn. The health security is added with existing components of national security measure, which once merely was considered as the individual course. The world military power, US, China, Russia, Iran, Germany, France, Britain are now struggling to manage the outbreak of coronavirus, despite their belonging enormous military might. US president Donald Trump said, ‘we are fighting in a war, which has no visible foe’ (Shafer, 2020). The loss of national economy and human casualties are likely equitable with war period, but it is not war. The world is perplexing to do what should be done in order to manage the outbreak. Amid of this, the Cuba, South Korea, Vietnam, Taiwan which has enough health might and preparation could able to manage the outbreak successfully and continue their growth. So it is very clear that the national security is now not only protected through strong military, economy or political regime, rather it requires sound health capacity.
Emergence of Nationalism, Xenophobia and Racism
The world is witnessing outnumbered incidents of racism, xenophobia, and nationalism across the world. The Black is complaining not to get equal treatment from the health care facilities in the USA. African American is highly subjected to disregard, maltreatment and negligence. The Asian Americans are also blamed to bear the virus into US as Donald Trump termed the virus as Chinese virus. A tweet from UAE celebrities was viral across the social media and widely criticized as it spread hatred against Bengali, Indian labors. Many immigrants said about the health negligence (eg. Not getting proper testing, Not placing at Hospital, Not offering medicine, Not getting assistance from government during lockdown, getting forced to leave) what they are facing in middle East countries including UAE. The most significant case is the emergence of nationalism in Europe. In corona period, European Union is seen mostly inactive in leading a collective action against the pandemic. The lack of cooperation from European parts has newly pushed the isolation on national basis among European Union. The revival of nationalism has increased the possibility of uprising nationalist conservative right wingers in European politics. It may further cause the secession of regional and global cooperation. India has been witnessing communal tension among Hindus and Muslims as the corona virus has been termed as corona Jihad. Hindus alleged a section of the Muslim community (Tablig-E-Jamat) of spreading corona virus in India for killing Hindus.
Lack of Global and Regional Cooperation
The world has seen power wrangling among the global powers, US and China during coronavirus period. Amid of pandemic, the division and the lack of collective action against the pandemic have been evident. US rebuked the credibility of the report came from China and WHO. The European Union, the most successful example of regional integration has also been facing lack of coordination and collective action against the pandemic. The leaders of the EU have questioned the efficacy of EU in managing the pandemic like coronavirus. However, other cooperative organizations like G-7, ASEAN, SAARC, AU, and OAS are also found less effective in tackling the coronavirus. So, analysts warned the rise of nationalism, racism would cause the collapse of regional and global platform of cooperation in further.
Corona Virus and New Calculation for Global Leadership
The outbreak of coronavirus has put the nation into global race, who is capable to deal the pathogen with its effective health management, facilities and innovation of vaccine. China was the first nation mostly affected by this Novel Corona-virus has now overcome. The new confirmed infection is very minimal for the first time since the pandemic outbreak in Wuhan province. China is now also demonstrating their voluntarism and leadership by providing medical facilities and equipment to different nations across the world including many European, Asian and Latin American countries. The state owned news outlet is highly appreciating the governments’ success, which has been able to halt the outbreak of Corona virus while the world including Italy, Spain, France, US are struggling to manage it. At the same time, Germany is also striving to manage the outbreak of Novel corona virus in its own. However, it has given less attention to other European countries which were in fragile condition. The comment came from Italy prime minister by alleging EU not doing enough to combat this pandemic. So, it is expected to draw a new calculation of EU collaboration while the nationalism has already revived in many nations. The US is striving best to discover the vaccine, but still failed to do this. However, the US has shown its lack of preparation, and capabilities to deal the pandemic outbreak in its own country. Therefore, US foreign ministry, and government officials blamed China for not sharing sufficient and timely information. The leadership of US has also failed to assist the world with a view for minimizing the effect of this pathogen. Therefore, some media revealed that the US is secretly seeking medical help from different European and Asian countries including Turkey, Japan, and South Korea etc. It shows the health vulnerabilities, which the US is still belonging. So, it is apparent that the declining leadership of US and the possible end of Unipolar world. However, US with its sustaining economy, political stability, and advanced technology will remain dominant over the world in upcoming decades. But that leadership will not be such dominant like it had after the end of cold war. The China is growing rapidly, but has uncertainty over its political structure. Chinese communist party is experiencing huge blow of political rivalry and competition in its own party. The Hong Kong issue, Taiwan issue and Uighur issue are also possible option to destabilize the country’s’ political order. However, it is expected that the growing economic progress and military power will make china dominant over the region. But it is still far away for china to be the global leader.
At the same time, Germany has developed economy with echoing environmental policy. However, due to limited military expenditure and low capabilities will keep it far away from being a global leader.
Therefore, it is very clear that the US will survive some more decades as the hegemon, and then the world will be gradually going to multipolar where many regional dominant actors will play their strong role.
However, it is very clear that the leadership is now calculated not only through the indicators of political sphere of influence, economic seize, military capabilities, and cultural might, but the novel coronavirus has added some new indicators including health management capabilities, and facilities, human development index, environmental leadership and possessing information. The parameter of national security is also in a new page, while it included health capabilities into consideration. Post corona world has also expected to face the revival of nationalism, racism and result in the decline of globalism and regionalism.