After the Calamity: Economics and Politics in the Post-Pandemic World
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Kozminski University
Publication date: 2020-06-24
Polish Sociological Review 2020;210(2):137–156
The coronavirus pandemic has shaken the world and its long shadow will remain with us for many years. It is presenting humanity with incredible challenges, which coincide with other negative mega-trends. The enormous costs of the pandemic will only be known ex post. While some people will have lost nothing, others will have lost everything—sometimes even their lives. The heterogeneous, post-pandemic future will follow many paths, with the position of highly developed countries becoming relatively weaker. Tensions between the US and China will increase; geopolitics will change. The confrontation between democracy and authoritarianism will intensify; the synergy of the market and the state will be transformed. It will be particularly dangerous to view two sides of the same counterfeit coin as alternatives: neoliberal capitalism versus populist capitalism. The chance for a better future could be created by a gradual transition to a new pragmatism, a strategy of moderation in economic matters, and a development that is sustainable on three levels—economic, social, and ecological. The pandemic is also an immense challenge for the social sciences because old ways of thinking will often prove useless in analyzing and explaining new situations.