Nel corso dell’ultimo decennio, le infrastrutture sono divenute sempre più uno strumento geopolitico di influenza delle grandi potenze, per accrescere la loro connettività con i Paesi ritenuti strategici, legandoli a sé politicamente ed economicamente attraverso un aumento costante degli investimenti.
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Nel luglio del 2019, poco più di due mesi dal lancio ufficiale della sua candidatura per le elezioni presidenziali, Joe Biden definì temi e contorni di quella che sarebbe stata la sua proposta di politica estera in un incontro organizzato alla City University of New York (Cuny). Tra le misure elencate per rilanciare il ruolo statunitense nel mondo, Biden annunciò la volontà di convocare un summit mondiale per la democrazia (“a global summit for democracy”) entro la fine del suo primo anno di mandato, con l’obiettivo di rendere
The COVID-19 pandemic has posed an enormous challenge to the ability of political systems to cope with the human and economic disruption caused by the virus. Furthermore, it has generated competitive dynamics in the international arena, notably between democracies and autocracies.
It seems that not only the economy and health care systems, but also human rights and democracy have proven particularly fragile during the Covid-19 pandemic. Even in more consolidated democracies, governments did not always succeed in ensuring that all the restrictions were necessary and proportionate to the threat to the lives of their citizens.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Hungary and Poland have progressively slipped further towards authoritarianism.
The pandemic has demonstrated the need for public leadership in order to encourage people to practice safe interactions, including social distancing and seeking vaccination. Many authoritarian states interpreted public leadership as the ability to control people’s behavior and, accordingly, claimed to be more successful than their democratic counterparts in managing the pandemic.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many highlighted the link between authoritarian regimes and effectiveness in managing the pandemic. However, when it comes to Africa, the link between the quality of the response and regime type is not a direct correlation. In fact, the efficiency of a country’s pandemic management primarily depended on national trajectories in most cases.
COVID-19 has posed an enormous challenge to political systems’ ability to cope with the human and economic disruption caused by the virus. Given its global scale, the pandemic spurred international cooperation in some instances, such as with the G20 and the WHO-driven Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator. However, it also generated competitive dynamics in the international arena, notably between democracies and autocracies.
Michael Schoenhals and Roderick MacFarquhar’s opus magnum on the Cultural Revolution bears the appropriate title Mao’s Last Revolution, but I have always thought that The Last Revolution would have been an even more appropriate title.
As China emerges from the grips of COVID-19, there is potential for it to become a global leader in managing the pandemic and provide assistance to other countries. But what does the latest pandemic tell us about the durability of authoritarian regimes, like China? Furthermore, given its recent experiences with a national crisis, such as SARS or the Sichuan earthquake, what is the role of civil society in managing the impacts of such national emergencies?