Globalization as Civilizational Progress and the Covid-19 Pandemic

Author Name FUJITA Masahisa (Institute of Economic Research, Kyoto University) / HAMAGUCHI Nobuaki (Faculty Fellow, RIETI)
Creation Date/NO. June 2020 20-P-015
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The United States and Europe have been epicenters of the Covid-19 pandemic because they are the wealthiest regions in the world as the centers of the current brain power society. Despite technological advancement, face-to-face communication in the ‘dense, short-distanced, and undivided’ (3D) environment is essential and complementary to information and communication technology (ICT) in core activities of the brain power society. The significant concentration of the ‘3D’ environment has been a driving force of development in the US east-coast parallelogram belt and the European Blue Banana region. But, at the same time, it became the hotbed of the self-reinforcing spread of the infectious disease. The Covid-19 pandemic severely damaged the global economy through the global supply chains, and that effect may have a prolonged impact. The crisis hit the world precisely at the time when the international coordination regimes were destabilizing, and the power-politics between China and the US was intensifying. We can foresee difficulties in restructuring the post-pandemic global economy if the global community continues to lack effective coordination. The current situation requires an international regime that values diversity and competition in creativity, not self-interest and the use of force.