Covid19 Pandemic And the Dilemma of Intellectual Vacuum in International Relations

Covid19 Pandemic And the Dilemma of Intellectual Vacuum in International Relations
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By Dr. Salam AL Rabadi |

The reality of international relations outside academic life in light of the Covid19 pandemic crisis appears completely different, where, the challenge lies in formulating a new vision, which can defend the integration of the results of the global scene against the attacks of the idea of the intellectual vacuum which are taking place now. In this context and when dealing with multidimensional and highly complex issues, the issue of methodology acquires exceptional and fundamental importance. Contrary to the intellectual and political clamor and all the currently prevailing theses on the collapse of unipolarism as a result of the repercussions of a Covid19 crisis,  we can say that the global reality before the crisis was expressing a transitional stage in most of the political, intellectual and economic issues.

Where we find that it was definitely full of many developments, as the actual move from the industrial community to the knowledge society has taken place, in addition to the transition from the polarity duality to the relative monism, and from the concept of the classical security to the concept of the relative dangers society. Consequently, these issues as a whole formed new global patterns, which made it logical to discuss dilemmas related to how to see the global system and try to foresee its future and the identity of the main actors in it.

Proceeding from that, when the reading of the global reality before the pandemic crisis, it can be said that there has been a major shift in the concept of global security, as the classic vision no longer controls reality, which was based on achieving state security (i.e. political security).

On the contrary, the concept of vital human security there has become encompassing all dimensions: environmental, economic, cultural and political, including health dimensions and the implications of technological progress,etc.Also, as a result of the increasing influence of transnational corporations, NGOs and individuals, not to mention the emergence of terrorism, environmental issues, and the problems of the biotechnical revolution and artificial intelligence on the global stage, it has become strategically impossible to talk about a global system controlled by one pole.

Based on these approaches and by simulating the contemporary reality of international relations (whether before or after the pandemic), we find that it is full of changes at all levels, which can be illustrated through the following dilemmas:

  • The dilemma of the intellectual vacuum and the absence of ethic dimensions.
  • The dilemma of state standing and force standards.
  • The dilemma of the cultural dimension and its summons to understand the global patterns. 

Hence, in principle, these changes in the structure of the global community were a precedent for the pandemic  of Covid19, so that the pandemic came to confirm these changes, not to nullify or veto it(as many politicians, researchers and thinkers claim), which was expressed through the following problematics:

  1. Can international relations in the 21st century be analyzed by relying solely on the criterion of material strength?
  2. Is there a need for a new philosophical pattern to explain the new reality of international relations?
  3. What ways do we have to meet and define ethical requirements, which include a new concept of human security?

Since before the Covid19 pandemic in 2020, the twenty-first century has revisited our certainty constants about everything related to man, society, politics, economy, culture, science and ethics. Where there were many theories, which tried to fill the intellectual void of our world, including the theory of the end of history, the theory of the clash of civilizations, and the postmodern theory.etc. But, the most dangerous of them was, at all, a theory called “Post-Humanity“. Where, since 2000, with the discovery of the genetic map, humanity has entered a revolutionary evolution in biological sciences, which will result in radical transformations that may allow the possibility of changing the human nature, and certainly will be accompanied by fateful moral, political and economic effects.

Consequently, it becomes clear, beyond any doubt, that prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, there were real and more serious questions regarding facing future political and moral options in the field of genetic engineering, so in the future, we will face the “Post-Humanity” world, and the repercussions of the current pandemic will only be a small point in its ocean. As human genes will be combined with other animals and possibly plant genes, in a way that makes us not know what the meaning of humanity is, and thus the world will be full of conflicts and there will be no room within it for any concept about our common humanity.

This pattern in turn opens the door wide to the dilemma of the relationship between humanity and scientific progress and the extent of its impact on world politics, not to mention the pace of intellectual development in international relations. Based on this vision, we can say that the Covid19 Pandemic and its repercussions are a result, not a cause.

Hence, the Covid 19 Pandemic has not brought us anything new in international relations at the intellectual and political level, except to emphasize the importance of creating a global system of values that governs the behavior of societies, states and world institutions and organizations. Where, the question of values and their transformations, will be at the forefront of current and future intellectual questions in world politics. So that the shift is made from focusing on economic and political factors only, to the trend towards cultural factors as the influencing and driving force in approaching global issues (whether in terms of interpreting them or finding solutions to them).

In this context, and according to the methodology of self-criticism and historical logic, we can raise the question about whether we fell into the trap of the problem of urgency in filling the theoretical void that explains global issues. as the time frame for all these new global patterns did not exceed 20 years, and that time period It cannot give us fixed connotations and indications. Thus, what can we say about all of these current propositions and hearsay related to the repercussions of the Covid19 Pandemic, which have not yet been more than a few months old?

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