COVID-19 and Globalization: Insights from GLOA - Recap

COVID-19 and Globalization: Insights from GLOA - Recap

How has our global world been changing after the COVID-19 pandemic? On November 18, 2020, “COVID-19 and Globalization” brought together five exciting virtual presentations by diverse Global Affairs faculty members. Dr. Jennifer Ashley, Dr. Cortney Hughes Rinker, Dr. Niklas Hultin, Dr. Yasemin Ipek, and Dr. Byunghwan Son discussed how Coronavirus had been drastically changing personal and collective lives in different parts of the world. Since March 2020, they have been researching the COVID-19 process in different settings through various qualitative and quantitative methods. In undergraduate and graduate courses they recently offered, they explored the complex impacts of COVID-19 on globalization with their students. Based on their continuing research and teaching experience, they decided to open this timely conversation on the global implications of COVID-19 to the public.

The two-hour Zoom panel generated a rich conversation on global political economy, poverty and inequality, health infrastructure, Muslims in the US, democracy, refugees and migrants, social media, and social movements and protests. Panel participants shared analyses on how markets, states, institutions, and everyday lives have been transformed globally and in specific contexts such as Chile, Lebanon, the US, and West Africa. They highlighted both theoretical and practical aspects of cultural, political, and economic dynamics of a global pandemic. They provided us with stimulating questions and useful toolkits to further explore how COVID-19 has been shaping our world in uneven and unexpected ways. Their discussion also reminded us that marginalized local communities worldwide claim their voice in responding to this unprecedented global crisis, and thus demonstrated that precarious communities have a say as much as governments, international organizations, and other powerful political and economic actors. 

GLOA is also grateful to more than 20 faculty members and undergraduate and graduate students who participated in the event and contributed with their comments and questions. As an interdisciplinary program that promotes excellent research and teaching on current global issues, GLOA will continue to organize events that bring Mason students and faculty together in understanding our continually changing world. We invite everyone, especially our students, to help us in thinking about how Mason can productively participate in the ongoing public discussions over an ever-changing global pandemic.