COVID 19: An end of American hegemony?

Written By: Jyotika Teckchandani
Noida Published: Apr 24, 2020, 02:24 PM(IST)

File photo of Donald Trump. Photograph:( AFP )

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COVID 19 has jolted the faith of the international community in the capitalist liberal system sustained by the USA.

In the context of the development of COVID 19, the international community is debating on two central questions: whether the post-COVID-19 would eclipse the American hegemony? Or whether the world order will become more China centred? A third aspect of the debate is whether the post-COVID -19 world orders will strengthen multipolarity. 

Irrespective of the origin of COVID-19,  which America has termed the Chinese virus. One thing is certain that the post-COVID-19 will result in the different priorities of the international order. It's certain that America is going to lose its influence  and power on world affairs. Not because it’s no more capable of dominating the international arena but rather, COVID 19 has jolted the faith of the international community in the capitalist liberal system sustained by the USA. The virus has exposed the structural weakness and eroded the legitimacy of the American system and due to the simple fact that the USA, despite being superpower has the largest number of deaths. This has caused irreparable damage to American authority and its liberal value system with a consequence that it has drastically lost its soft power. 

On the other hand, as its reported China, where the COVID 19 erupted, has a relatively good record in saving people’s lives, though, the official statistics could also be wrong in lieu of the absence of free press. However, it’s more or less confirmed that China has recorded fewer deaths in comparison to America. All major international financial institutions including IMF and World Bank are pointing out that the China prospect of economic recovery is very good. Though China remains an economic powerhouse, however, it will not result in creating and establishing Chinese hegemony or China-centric world order. Because China does not have a good record in terms of freedom, development and other indicators of the regime of human rights. Therefore, even while the influence of America declines, the  resulting vacuum would not be filled by China. 

This provides a very different kind of challenge before the Indian government. India must develop a future assessment of post-COVID 19 world order in order to grapple with the implications of assertive Chinese and not trust them ever again keeping in the mind, the track record of China, as well as, not to put all eggs in the USA's basket. 

 (Disclaimer: The opinions expressed above are the personal views of the author and do not reflect the views of ZMCL)


Jyotika Teckchandani

Jyotika Teckchandani teaches at Amity Institute of Social Sciences, Amity University, Uttar Pradesh. Her expertise includes Gender, International Politics, Foreign Policy Analysis, Indian and West Asian Politics.

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