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GPPN: Thinking Public Policy – Populism and Global Unrest: How Nations Adjust
Even before the pandemic, a tidal wave of populism was already rising around the world. Covid did not quell this surge – instead, the ensuing economic hardships and inequalities further sharpened social divides and deepened the distrust. The emergence of populist nationalist movements inspired greater scepticism towards globalisation and the value of international institutions, preferring sovereignty and national identity over global and regional cooperation.

History has shown that epidemics can be “incubators of social unrest[1]". Indeed, in the last two years, masses of people have defied lockdowns and risked personal health and safety to march on the streets, join mass protests and find new ways to express their discontent. Many of their clarion calls were for restrictions on free trade, immigration and multilateralism. Conflict, social tension, and protest movements forced to pause during the pandemic are now teeming and re-emerging, as societies open up and social life resumes.

As countries reopen their borders and seek to revive their economies, the recovery too will be uneven, both within and across national borders. What populist movements will this spark, and how are they likely to play out? What impact will this have on international security relations and foreign policy? Is the future bleak for international institutions? Is global unrest the next ticking time bomb, and what can nations do about it?

Join the Deans of the world’s top public policy schools as they discuss these issues from their vantage points in Asia, Europe and the Americas.

For more information on the GPPN Thinking Public Policy Webinar series, please refer to https://www.gppnetwork.org/webinars.

[1] https://www.newsweek.com/history-epidemics-pandemic-civil-unrest-reasons-1530055

Jan 25, 2022 08:30 PM in Singapore

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