Main Article Content
The COVID-19 pandemic is as much a process of globalization as it is its outcome. In the wake of the death, socio-economic devastation, and radical uncertainties it has unleashed, this paper re-examines globalization anew. This paper’s focus is on the role that neoliberalism has played in precipitating the COVID-19 disaster, especially in the wealthiest nations of the West. Re-visiting history, the paper takes issue with the rhetoric of globalization that had been sold as a project ushering in an interconnected global village exalting culture and community. Against such exuberance, the paper recalls that globalization was a post-Cold War project celebrating liberal-capitalism’s ‘triumph’ over state-socialism. It reveals globalization to be foremost about economic accumulation, not community edification. Moreover, in the realm of ideology and policymaking, the past four decades have seen liberalism devolving into neoliberalism, and many national states becoming financialized corporate states. Especially in the West, the liberal state has been captured and financialized. Austerity—not redistributive growth—has reigned, engendering historically unprecedented social polarization which COVID-19 has exposed and exacerbated. Globalization, I argue, has served as rhetorical cover for the social destructiveness of ‘neoliberalism’. The approaches and outcomes of pandemic management in much of the West are a further indictment of neoliberalism. Whereas ‘herd immunity’ had been the early de facto pandemic strategy of many neoliberal Western governments, most of East Asia a state-led commitment to ‘zero transmission’ and minimum casualties, leading to vastly different health outcomes.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
For submissions from 31st March 2014 onwards, authors who submit articles to this journal for publication agree to the following terms:
a) Retaining Copyright and Granting Rights:
Authors retain copyright and grant the journal the right of first publication. The work is simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License, allowing others to share and adapt the work. Acknowledgment of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal is required.
b) Non-Exclusive Distribution:
Authors may enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., posting to an institutional repository or publishing in a book). Acknowledgment of its initial publication in this journal is required.
c) Online Posting and Citation Advantage:
Authors are encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process. This may lead to productive exchanges and earlier and greater citation of the published work (See The Open Access Citation Advantage Service). If authors include the work in an institutional repository or on their website, they must acknowledge the UTS ePRESS publication with relevant details.
d) Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) License Awareness:
Authors should note that the CC-BY License permits readers to share (copy and redistribute) and adapt (remix, transform, build upon) the work for any purpose, including commercial use. Proper credit, a link to the license, and indication of any changes made must be provided. The manner of doing so must not suggest endorsement by you or your publisher.
For Volume 10 No 2 (2013) and earlier, the following copyright applied:
Authors submitting a paper to UTSePress publications agree to assign a limited license to UTSePress if and when the manuscript is accepted for publication. This license allows UTSePress to publish the manuscript in a specific issue.
Articles published by UTSePress are protected by copyright, with rights retained by the authors, who assert their moral rights. Authors control translation and reproduction rights to their works published by UTSePress. All rights are reserved worldwide by UTSePress, and downloads of specific portions are permitted for personal use only, not commercial use or resale.
For reprint or usage permissions, please direct inquiries to UTSePress via the journal's main editor, Dr. Nicholas Manganas at [firstname.lastname@example.org]. Reprint permission requires acknowledgment of both UTSePress and PORTAL in the format advised by the journal editor.
Collins, C., O. Ocampo and S. Paslaski. 2020. ‘Billionaire Bonanza 2020: Wealth Windfalls, Tumbling Taxes and Pandemic Profiteers,’ Institute for Policy Studies Report, April 23. Online, available: https://ips-dc.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Billionaire-Bonanza-2020.pdf [Accessed 11 September 2020].
Freeman, A. 2020, ‘How Many People Need Die? The Real Alternative to Herd Immunity,’ Valdai Papers, No. 115, July 2020. Online, available: https://valdaiclub.com/a/valdai-papers/how-many-people-need-die/ [Accessed 6 September 2020].
Friedman, T. 1999, The Lexus and the Olive Tree. Farrarr, Strauss and Giroux, New York.
Friedman, J. 2003, ‘Globalization, Dis-integration, Re-organization,’ in (ed.) J. Friedman, Globalization, the State, and Violence. Altamira Press, New York and Oxford.
Fukuyama, F. 1992, The End of History of the Last Man. Free Press, New York.
Green, M. and Medeiros, E. 2020. ‘The Pandemic Won’t Make China the World’s Leader: Few Countries Are Buying the Model or Message from Beijing’ in Foreign Affairs, 15 April. https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/united-states/2020-04-15/pandemic-wont-make-china-worlds-leader. [Accessed 21 December, 2020]
Hayek, F. 2001 (1944), The Road to Serfdom. Routledge, London and New York.
Hoffman, P. 2015, Why Did Europe Conquer the World? Princeton University Press, New Jersey.
Kapferer, B. 2005, ‘New formations of power, the oligarchic-corporate state, and anthropological ideological discourse,’ Anthropological Theory, vol. 5(3): 285-299.
Kho, T. 2017, ‘The Urgency of Coloniality,’ The SOAS Journal of Postgraduate Research, vol. 11: 133-152.
Kho, T. 2009, ‘Eurocentrism, Modernity, and the Postcolonial Predicament in East Asia,’ in (ed.) R. Kanth, The Challenge of Eurocentrism. Palgrave Macmillan, New York: 121-143.
Lottholz, P., Heathershaw, J., Ismailbekova, A., Moldalieva, J., McGlinchey, E., Owen, C. 2020. ‘Governance and order-making in Central Asia: from illiberalism to post-liberalism?’, Central Asian Survey, 39(3), 420-437. Doi: 10.1080/02634937.2020.1803794.
Mignolo, W. 2007, ‘Delinking,’ Cultural Studies, volume 21, no.2: 449 - 514.
Mirowski, P. 2019, ‘Hell Is Truth Seen Too Late,’ boundary 2, February: 1-53.
Mirowski, P. 2018, ‘Neoliberalism: The Movement that Dare Not Speak Its Name,’ American Affairs, volume 2, no. 1: 118-141.
Prashad, V. 2021, ‘The Covid-19 Catastrophe in India Keeps Growing,’ Counterpunch, 26 April. Online, available: https://www.counterpunch.org/2021/04/26/the-covid-19-catastrophe-in-india-keeps-growing/ [Accessed 9 May 2021].
Quijano, A. 2000, ‘Coloniality of Power, Eurocentrism, and Latin America,’ Neplanta: Views from South, volume 1, no. 3: 533-580.
Roy, A. 2021. ‘We are witnessing a crime against humanity,’ The Guardian, 28 April. Online, available: https://www.theguardian.com/news/2021/apr/28/crime-against-humanity-arundhati-roy-india-covid-catastrophe. [Accessed 9 May 2021].
Ritzer, G. 2015 (1993), The McDonaldization of Society, 8th edition. Sage Publications, Los Angeles and London.
Saad-Filho, A. and D. Johnston (eds.). 2005, Neoliberalism: A Critical Reader. Pluto Press, London.
Thatcher, M. 1981, ‘Mrs Thatcher: The First Two Years,’ Sunday Times, 3 May. Online, available: https://www.margaretthatcher.org/document/104475 [Accessed 11 September 2020].
The Dirty War on the NHS (2019). DVD. Directed by John Pilger. United Kingdom: Dartmouth Films.
Tonnies, F. 1957 (1887), Community and Society. Michigan State University Press, Michigan.
Toynbee, A. 1946, A Study of History. Oxford University Press, Oxford and New York.
World Health Organization 2000, The World Health Report 2000 – Health systems: Improving Performance, World Health Organization, Geneva. Online, available: https://www.who.int/whr/2000/en/whr00_en.pdf [Accessed 8 September 2020].
Zapata, N.H. 2020, ‘How to Destroy a National Health Service,’ The Nation, June 22. Online, available: https://www.thenation.com/article/world/destroy-britain-nhs-privatization/ [Accessed 11 September 2020].