American Univesity of Beirut

The World after COVID-19: Reflections on Global Health and Public Policy

​​​​​This OpEd is part of the Issam Fares Institute opinion articles series published weekly. This article is​ an IFI-GHI commentary written​​ by
Nasser Yassin, Interim Director of Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs at the American University of Beirut, Lebanon.
Shadi Saleh, Founding Director of the Global Health Institute at the American University of Beirut, Lebanon.

As we write this commentary confined to our homes, our newsfeed is flooded with numbers of COVID-19 infections hitting close to 4 million people across the globe, and still counting. The pandemic has also inflicted serious damages on global – and regional – governing political structures to a degree meriting a revisit of their own raison d’être and mode of operation (or lack of). The global economic fallout will also be unprecedented as the flows of goods and people got severely disrupted while lockdowns hit the transport, services, and retail industries, among others. In recent years, many around the World have hypothesized on the impact of surging nationalism globally on shaping a new World order. COVID-19 revealed how nationalism can translate into breaking decade-long alliances presumably built on common values and interests. The question going forward is whether the World post COVID-19 will continue to support this national trend or tilt the balance towards placing more value on globalist approach and values, starting with better global health.

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