Many predictions of how the COVID-19 pandemic will reshape the world have focused on a tension at the heart of international affairs. On the one hand, countries have turned inwards to deal with the pandemic, closing their borders and asserting their sovereignty. Nationalism is on the rise. On the other hand, there is a recognition that transnational problems like the pandemic require transnational solutions. Global governance must be reinvigorated. This tension between nationalism and cosmopolitanism is also reflected in other opposing positions that have defined the study of international relations: isolationism versus internationalism; realism versus idealism; competition versus interdependence; and the list goes on. This article suggests that the tension can also be conceived as existing between politics and policy. Dividing politics and policy in this way helps to explain the influence of different actors on international negotiations and the prospects and pitfalls of international cooperation.
|Publication status||Published - 2020|