Revue Européenne du Droit
A new architecture for globalization
Issue #2
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Issue #2

Authors

David Djaïz

21x29,7cm - 186 pages Issue #2, Spring 2021 24€

The Covid crisis has acted as a revelation of the intensity of our interdependencies on a global scale. However, such de facto interdependence has not been accompanied by an increase in solidarity. The systemic vulnerabilities revealed by the crisis should encourage us to think about a better organization of globalization, in which interdependence and solidarity are equivalent 1 . Many intellectuals, artists and activists like to dream of the “world-to-be”. It is quite legitimate to try to draw the contours of a desirable future, so much so that the present moment is not. It is quite natural to try to project one’s own hopes into this desirable future. However, one must be careful of illusions and cognitive biases. I do not believe that this crisis will give birth to a new world.

If the extraordinary (in the original meaning) moment that we are going through is a crisis, it is not because we have a choice between several possible worlds. There will be no post-pandemic world-to-be because there is no other world available than the one we already live in. We stopped believing in the beyond-worlds and in the theology of salvation a long time ago. The only salvation that needs to be worked on is public salvation, the salvation of this world – the only one we have in store.

If there is no other world, the question that remains open, however, is the following: can the world-to-be be something other than the world before, only “a little worse” – to use the expression of the French writer Michel Houellebecq, known for his pessimism?

The answer to this question is certainly undecided, since it will depend profoundly on our collective choices. Even if we are still in the eye of the storm and the unprecedented crisis that we are experiencing is likely to last for a long time to come, it still seems to me necessary and useful to quickly have some benchmarks and good analytical frameworks to understand the moment we are in and what we can hope for once the worst is over.

The vulnerability of integrated and complex systems

At first glance, there is no common thread between the subprime crisis of 2008 and the current pandemic. Except that historians who will study our era in two or three hundred years will probably see these as the two most important dates of the beginning of the 21st century. More so since there is a common factor to these events: they are each in their own way a crisis of globalization, in that they follow the same pattern and manifest the same “topology”:

– (i) an incident occurs at a given moment at a precise point (let us call it the epicenter) and yet causes a systemic-global crisis by propagating in concentric circles, in the manner of seismic vibrations. The epicenter of the 2008 financial crisis was the US housing market. The epicenter of the health crisis of 2020 was the Chinese province of Hubei;

– (ii) the epicenter of the incident is always a nodal point. It is no coincidence that the financial crisis originated in the United States and the health crisis in China: these countries are two essential hubs of globalization;

– (iii) the peripheral regions always end up paying more than the epicenters the price of a crisis they did not cause: the sovereign debt 2 crisis resulting from the financial crisis has particularly damaged Southern Europe even though the latter had nothing to do with the US housing market; the health crisis is once again affecting, in a cruel irony, Southern Europe, starting with Spain and Italy, which now have more deaths than China.

Such is the paradox of globalization that emerges with these two crises: the fact that we are so integrated and interconnected makes us both stronger and more vulnerable.  Stronger, because global economic and technological integration has, as I pointed out in Slow Démocratie 3 , provided new opportunities for the American and European economies, which were running out of steam after the end of the Glorious Thirties, but it has also brought entire segments of the population of emerging countries out of extreme poverty, especially in South Asia (the African continent, alas, has not reaped the benefits of this globalization).

But it has also made us more vulnerable, and this is not contradictory to the above, since a local shock applied to a nodal point has incalculable cascading consequences, which was not the case in a less open world. The so-called “Spanish” flu, which actually originated in the United States, took two years to reach the European continent. The Black Death of the 14th century took about ten years to reach Europe.

A new “archipellisation of the world”

This force, which can turn against itself and become a vulnerability, can be explained quite simply by the spatial organization of our globalization. Take economic value chains. These are not linear but starred: there are large metropolitan hubs where principals are concentrated, which themselves are linked to regional hubs where second-order subcontractors are located, which themselves are linked to third-order hubs, and so on, by successive interweaving. Far from having become “flat”, as Thomas Friedman’s 4 successful essay proclaimed, the world has never been so rough and dented: on the one hand an archipelago of closely connected hubs; on the other, a vast hinterland more or less well irrigated, depending on the level of solidarity defined within each national system, since the redistribution from the centers to the peripheries is performed almost exclusively on a national basis.

In Europe we suffer a priori less than elsewhere from such “archipellisation of the world”, even if this is not always the feeling of people living in territories in difficulty. Surely high value-added activities and highly skilled jobs are increasingly concentrated in metropolises, as in the rest of the Western world: since the 2008 crisis, most net job creation has taken place in a few metropolitan areas. But we do have a powerful system of inter-territorial cohesion 5 that ensures redistribution between productive and less productive areas through public and private channels: social spending, public jobs and administrations, retirement pensions… but also residential and tourist mobility that irrigate regions lacking a productive base. 

In an economically and technologically hyper-connected world, it is therefore sufficient for one of these nodal points to be affected by an incident for the entire system to jam (according to the following diagram: first the hubs, then the peripheries), whatever the triggering event. Such event can be either involuntary (an epidemic, a financial panic) or deliberate (a terrorist attack). In 2008, the collapse of the subprime mortgage market, which was not particularly visible on the global mapping of financial risks, caused a freeze on wholesale funding for American banks, which then spread to the European financial system, then to the real economy, and finally had a very severe impact on the public finances of European states, which were forced to bail out their banks and their critical industries in great urgency. As Adam Tooze 6 showed in his masterful account of the 2008 crisis, there is a deep continuity between these events – forming a chain of dominoes. The right model for understanding and measuring the 2008 crisis is therefore not that of state-by-state national accounting, but that of the “nested matrix” of corporate balance sheets, the depth of which is staggering. Just one example of these strange interweaving of balance sheets: Rana, Hemnes, Hattfjelldal and Narvik, four small municipalities in northern Norway, collectively lost 350 million Norwegian kroner (43 million euros) after investing 451 million kroner (55.6 million euros) in asset-backed bonds, which were themselves composed of subprime mortgages from the US housing market.

A “context” for the pandemic

In 2019, a bad pangolin soup eaten in a market in Wuhan may have caused the worst pandemic we have seen since the Spanish flu of 1918-1920. It first spread in the Hubei region and then spread to the rest of the world because of the strength of cross-border human mobility. Think about it: every second before the crisis, some 130 passengers were flying somewhere on the planet. 1.4 billion international tourists flew in 2018, equivalent to 44 arrivals per second at an airport. These figures suggest how quickly a virus can spread in an open system where people move intensively from one country to another. 

To be clear, the idea here is not to incriminate globalization as an efficient cause of the pandemic, but rather to show that our globalization constitutes a “spatio-temporal context” (or a “milieu” to speak an ecological language…) favorable to the propagation of systemic crises, where the alignment of the planets is indeed total 7 . Regarding pandemics:

(i) Pathogens jump the species barrier from animal to human in hotspots at the frontier of the most urbanized human activity and a natural environment, where there is still an abundance of wildlife, especially when natural environments are disrupted by practices such as intensive monoculture or wildlife smuggling (a lucrative business worth $19 billion a year in China);

(ii) they spread from human to human in highly urbanized areas (the city of Wuhan is a perfect candidate);

(iii) they become global pandemics in contexts of great human circulation, whether for war or economic reasons: already in the 14th century, the Great Plague that appeared in the Far East spread to the Western world because of the development of the Eurasian trade routes (the well-known “Silk Roads”). Today, one can easily superimpose the map of intercontinental air flights and the map of the spread of the coronavirus out of China in the first weeks.

Loss of biodiversity, poor “diplomacy” between humans and animals, unbridled urbanization and intense cross-border mobility: these are the primary characteristics of our globalization – or what Michel Lussault has called in his vocabulary “the advent of the World” 8 . This poor linkage of course helps to transform a local epidemic into a global pandemic in just a few weeks, whereas it took two years for the Spanish flu to reach Europe, and nearly fifteen years for the Great Plague.

Our interdependencies revealed

But we need to go further. It is not just that our globalization provides this pandemic with a “context” or “environment” that is conducive to its development. Conversely, this crisis of unprecedented proportions is acting as a powerful reminder of several social and environmental phenomena specific to globalization that we had not fully grasped. This crisis thus reveals the intensity of our ties. In a very beautiful text spotted by his distant successor Professor Philippe Sansonetti, Charles Nicolle (1866-1936) who was professor at the Collège de France and director of the Pasteur Institute of Tunis wrote: “Knowledge of infectious diseases teaches people that they are brothers and in solidarity. We are brothers because the same danger threatens us, and we are in solidarity because the contagion most often comes from our fellow men. 9

The speed at which a virus spreads reflects the intensity of the ties that bind us together. It’s no coincidence that metropolitan areas are hotbeds of proliferation: every day, we are in active or passive contact with hundreds of people, in addition to our family and friends, the people we take public transit with, those we pass on the street, office colleagues, diners at the restaurant. The regional mapping of the spread of the virus at this stage, recently proposed by the Groupe d’Etudes Géopolitiques, is particularly interesting 10 : not surprisingly, among the most affected areas are the megacities, but also the border areas, theaters of high commuting mobility. The famous “European backbone”, the cradle of European capitalism since it corresponds to the ancient trade routes and trade fairs, is the most affected area to date. One never becomes more aware of the density of the social infrastructure than when a grain of sand jams a very complex machinery that operates silently the rest of the time. It is only when we experience a water outage due to a broken pipe or a power outage due to a short circuit on a high-voltage line that we become aware of the complexity of the physical infrastructure that distributes water and electricity, which we “naturally” consume the rest of the time.

The same is true of the “social infrastructure” in general. It only becomes apparent to us in its complexity when it jams: it is only when the Trevi Fountain or St. Mark’s Square are empty of visitors and of their selfie sticks that we realize how millions of tourists pour into these places every year, which have become “hyper-places” under the effect of international tourism 11 ; it is only when Chinese production lines are at a standstill that American industrialists realize the complexity of their productive assemblies and worry about the depth of a chain of subcontractors they did not even know existed 12 ; it is only when we are confined to the solitude or to the closed confines of family life that we become aware of the density of our daily social life and the topology it involves –to what extent our daily life is interwoven, woven by interactions of all kinds, including mere “proximity” with perfect strangers. The health crisis we are going through is the ultimate and brutal revelation of our level of interdependence.

Moreover, the crisis reveals the deep intertwining between international sociability, limited to a minority of individuals (business clientele and tourists from the world’s middle class) and sub-national sociabilities. The speed at which the epidemic is spreading in northern Italy can be explained by the telescoping of these two sociabilities: Lombardy is an industrial and tourist hub where hundreds of thousands of visitors arrive every year from China, visitors who imported the virus, but this region is also the scene of another temporality, that of very intense daily mobility between the hinterland formed by towns and medium-sized cities such as Bergamo and Brescia, where young, precarious workers live, and the Milan conurbation where they work. The virus probably spread in these medium-sized cities because of this spatial configuration: young workers, forced to live with their parents and grandparents for both economic reasons (precariousness and unemployment) and cultural reasons (solidarity with the elderly), contracted the virus in the conurbations and transmitted it within their family unit. Spain seems to be following the same trajectory. It is heartbreaking to think that it is probably the less individualistic societies, where intergenerational solidarity remains the most alive, that will pay the heaviest human toll to the pandemic.

Interdependence without solidarity

Unfortunately, the level of de facto interdependence that we have acquired in globalization far exceeds the level of de jure solidarity that should have been built to minimize such risks. The acceleration of flows and the increased interconnection reinforce systemic risks, as we have sufficiently shown. After the 2008 crisis, the risks specific to the financial system were better identified and mapped in the financial system, and one of the reasons why the financial system is not currently collapsing despite the seriousness of the full-scale test to which it is subjected is undoubtedly due to the standardization effort that has been made during the 2010s in terms of prudential supervision and capital ratios. But finance is not the only highly integrated area presenting systemic risks. In addition to the health sector, such risks also exist in the energy, nuclear, food and technology sectors (non-exhaustive list).

Our interdependencies are global, but our solidarities remain irreversibly local and national. During lockdown, we are rediscovering the strength of “local” family and friendly solidarities; we are also rediscovering the strength of national solidarities. States, even at the heart of the Schengen area, are brutally closing their borders, often in a hasty and disorderly manner. This should not be seen, however, merely as nationalism of doubtful merit, but rather as the manifestation of a collective instinct for survival in moments of acute crisis, clinging to the most tangible organized social reality – the nation. This should not prevent us from passing a harsh judgment on the insufficient European coordination and the institutional labyrinth that prevents the protection of citizens and the production of adequate public goods in these particularly difficult times. Let us hope that this instinctive national solidarity does not prevent us from feeling similar all over the world. With hundreds of millions of people confined to their homes in the four corners of the world, never before have we fraternized so much in the same common experience.

It is perhaps a historic opportunity, in our segmented and archipelagic 13 societies, that we can rediscover a common experience, the cement of which is certainly a negative feeling: fear. Faced with this gigantic global benchmark of public policies that this crisis constitutes (since we only need to open a news line to compare the quality of the response provided by the different States), there is moreover a specific challenge for the European nations, which can be described as “social market democracies”: to show that the model of the social and democratic State does not demerit in the management of the crisis, compared to the Chinese Party State or the American liberal State…

The inevitable return of public power

Among the lessons to be learned from this crisis, the return of public authority is now a given, after thirty years of “automatic pilot” and “the end of History”. The three major crises of globalization (September 11, subprime and coronavirus) have each time shaken the primary purpose of public power – which is to guarantee public peace. Indeed, public peace has three components: safety, understood as the absence of war or aggression; security, understood as the absence of crises or accidents; and health, understood as the absence of disease. With the Covid-19, the loop is thus closed. Civil peace has been tested three times in twenty years, on each of its essential dimensions: terrorism has shaken physical safety, the financial crisis has shaken economic and social security, the coronavirus is undermining human health.

To fully understand what is at stake, we need to return to the fundamentals, i.e. Hobbes’ Leviathan. The frontispiece of the first edition of Leviathan (1651) is striking. The sovereign who has just been erected to put an end to disorder and perpetual warfare stands almost suspended over the City – a Leviathan levitating. The City is empty, as if everyone is confined to their homes, except for a few individuals walking around in the open air. A closer look, with a magnifying glass, reveals two types of individuals in the deserted Main Square: gendarmes in charge of public safety, recognizable by their muskets; and doctors, recognizable by their long beaked masks supposed to protect them from the plague. When the danger is there, the public space is only occupied by those who take care of civil peace, starting with the gendarmes in charge of security and the medics in charge of health. For Hobbes, strongly influenced by Thucydides’ passage on the great plague of Athens 14 , moments of epidemic crisis are those that reveal the relationship between the people and sovereignty: a mass of sick people who must be taken care of, even if it means simply excluding them from the public space “for their own good”. The difference between Hobbes’ thinking and the crisis we are living through is that in the crisis we are living through, this state of exclusion from the public space is temporary, linked to exceptional circumstances, whereas in Hobbes’ case it is virtually permanent. It must be said that between Hobbes and us, democracy has been grafted onto Res Publica – and the democratic nation onto the State.

The crises of 2001, 2008, and 2020 have each in their own way inflicted a stinging denial on the advocates of the end of History who, after 1989, argued that globalization should be put on “automatic pilot”, i.e. that the progressive integration of markets would bring in its wake liberal democracy, economic prosperity, and human health -a state of perpetual peace with “zero risk-zero death”. Of course, the number of deaths from Covid-19 is likely to be immeasurably lower than the death toll from the Spanish flu a century ago, which claimed several million lives. But it is already in the thousands, tomorrow it will be in the tens of thousands and perhaps in the hundreds of thousands. In the most affected regions such as Northern Italy or the province of Hubei, everyone knows a coronavirus victim in his or her close circle. We thought we had eradicated mass death after the Second World War, and even more so since 1989; we thought that death was now only a natural thing, which could arise accidentally from time to time, but according to the law of individuals and not the law of series, and now it is striking again en masse, as shown by these coffins lined up in Italian churches that mourning families can no longer even cry since even gatherings are forbidden.

Nation-states, floodgates of globalization

Like the light at the end of the tunnel, the afterwards seems far away. It is a new architecture of globalization that we will have to invent, nothing less. Faced with the disruptions caused by these systemic crises, the function of public power as a “floodgate” is more necessary than ever. Nation-states must once again become the floodgates of globalization. When human, economic or financial flows are likely to have a negative health, social or environmental impact, the national government (or the European power, if one decides to build a Europe-power capable of producing public goods, rather than a Europe of rules…) can decide to put in place certain limits, temporary or otherwise. It is not a question of shutting ourselves behind ramparts but, on the contrary, of organizing a regulation of the flows of globalization, just as floodgates organize the circulation of boats on a canal. Floodgates are safety valves that prevent the rapid and exponential spread of incidents in complex systems.

In addition to these restored margins of action, it will be necessary to consider building a true global rule of law without a global state, as the great jurist Mireille Delmas-Marty states 15 . It cannot be a question of overarching Law or regulations issued by undemocratic administrative authorities, disconnected from any political legitimacy. As effectiveness and legitimacy remain largely on the side of democratic nation-states, the error of globalism since the 1980s has been to think that supranational institutions, such as the WTO in trade matters, could simply replace states as the economy became globalized. This led to negative integration, with states abandoning pieces of sovereignty in favor of multilateral treaties, without such abandonments translating into gains in sovereignty or solidarity on a supranational scale – this is what is called negative integration, which has mainly taken the form of a generalized disarmament of public power (the famous “race to the bottom”).

Instead of these abandonments of sovereignty, it is crucial to return to a more reasonable approach: ensuring that national laws henceforth incorporate universal provisions, particularly those relating to global public goods (environment, air quality, health, financial stability, etc.). This was, for example, the purpose of the Global Pact for the Environment 16 Proposed by France in 2017, the Pact proposed that nation-states incorporate into their domestic law the fundamental principles of environmental law, including the right of every person to live in a healthy environment; the obligation to assess the environmental impact of any project; the precautionary principle; and the polluter-pays principle. This project failed because of the opposition of the United States, China, Russia and Brazil (the usual suspects…) in Nairobi in the spring of 2019, due to a lack of sufficiently firm commitment from Europe. The same could be done in the area of labor law and, of course, in the area of health.

Such an approach, relying on the responsibility of nation-states, is undoubtedly more promising than the “globalist” approach and the abandonment of sovereignty that has too often led to an outright downward revision. The philosophical equivalent of this legal doctrine must be sought in the “reiterative universalism” promoted by Michael Walzer 17

What new international order?

This new international order could rely quite heavily on existing institutions, provided that some of their operating rules evolve. In the 1980s and 1990s, the advocates of liberal globalization wanted to ensure that the expansion of economic flows would take precedence over any other collective consideration, be it social, environmental, health or other. A simple and common-sense rule could be that democratic nations (or Europe if, once again, it decides to become a “power”) have the right to define their own rules, institutions and even their own belief systems. If European citizens don’t want beef fed with growth hormones from the United States or Canada on their plates because they don’t want to eat it, they should have the right to take measures to suspend imports without having to prove, with scientific studies, that this meat is carcinogenic. Their democratic deliberation deciding that they do not want this hormone-treated beef because it does not correspond to the healthy and ecological food to which they aspire should suffice. One can only regret the inability of economic science to take into account these vital long-term issues, which are called: safety, security and of course health.

With this new architecture of globalization, public authorities will regain their function as a “signaling station”, capable of discriminating between what is intended to be placed on the world market and what is not; capable of imposing selective deceleration by regaining control of non-market public goods, starting with the fight against climate change and the erosion of biodiversity; capable of relocating certain strategic assets, such as the production of plant proteins or the active ingredients of medicines, in order to regain control of the supply chains that are essential for human life: health, food, energy and technology supply chains.

A circular and local economy could thus blossom other than in the form of stumps, “out of globalization” but energized by the incomes of competitive sectors which, for their part, live well from globalization. The buildings are renovated with quality materials produced locally, for example wood from the local forests. Renewable energy (wind, solar, biomass…) forms a larger part of the local energy mix. Waste is fully recycled thanks to the progress of the circular economy. An increasing proportion of the seasonal fruit and vegetables consumed are produced within a radius of a few hundred kilometers, as already proposed by the AMAP (Association pour le maintien d’une agriculture paysanne), which brings producers and inhabitants of the same region closer together by forming new short circuits. Today such initiatives exist, but they are extremely limited and scattered. A transition to scale encouraged by the public authorities must be organized, because in all these areas there are enormous deposits of sedentary jobs that would allow the frustration of the millions of inhabitants living in these areas broken by globalization and deindustrialization to be overcome. Local authorities can encourage their local producers by labeling their products, making serviced land or farmland available to them in exchange for a low rent, providing them with legal support to form a producers’ cooperative, developing a local currency that can only be spent on local products, providing tax incentives for city-center trade and local crafts, making apprenticeships and vocational training courses of excellence again, which means stopping indexing everything to the university degree. Little by little, at a low cost, it is thus possible to remove local areas of economic production and social life from the frantic pace of globalization and its scattered value chains.

This is obviously not “de-globalization” – that would make no sense. It’s not about barricading ourselves and returning to Asterix’s village, any more than it’s about rewinding the film at the touch of a button to take us back to the sepia France before the Glorious Thirty. These solutions are illusory. The international division of labor is there with its specialization effects, and it has brought certain benefits, not the least of which is to have lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty. It is rather a question of being able to discriminate democratically between what can and must be placed on the world market, with its inevitable demand for competitiveness and speed, and what can on the contrary be sheltered, preserved, encouraged in short, sedentary, circular, slowed down circuits -sheltered from global economic integration and its levelling force.

One might object that such a program risks the emergence of a territory with multiple lanes: on the one hand those that host competitive companies, project themselves onto world markets and pay high salaries to their executives and on the other hand, local and circular activities. Except that the multi-lane territory is already there, between the activities turned towards the global economy, often concentrated in international metropolises, and the sedentary activities with low added value scattered throughout the territory. And such disconnect is aggravated by the stories that are told, by territorial myths about globalized metropolises and run-down peripheries. On the contrary, it is necessary to counter such fragmentations, encouraged by the uncontrolled dynamics of globalization. It is urgent to invent a new territorial narrative where solidarity between nomadic and sedentary sectors is restored and where territorial fractures are replaced by cooperation and complementarities.

If we don’t, two political offers will compete for the votes of the distraught and disempowered middle classes. An ultra-nationalist offer, already a winner on every continent, which will propose “take back in hand” kits as simple as they are illusory, based on race, the sorting of identities, border closures as effective as doors slamming in the wind. An offer still in gestation but whose weak signals are emerging: ultra-localism, disillusioned by the death of ideologies and the general loss of reference points of our time, considering that the only salvation to be opposed to the chaos of the world lies in the autarky of territories, following the collapsological fashion.

When the first lights of globalization appeared, as early as the 1960s, the most serious economists warned us: the distributive effects will be significant in societies; there will be big winners and big losers. Nothing could be more normal, since processes such as trade opening, financial integration and the fragmentation of value chains amounted to modifying the relative remuneration of labor and capital in all sectors of the economy. This simple observation should have alerted us to the fact that strong public intervention was needed to correct or compensate for the negative effects of greater interdependence. It would have required a new age of public power. This has not been the case, since, on the contrary, the weakening of public power has been promoted as globalization has deepened. Neoliberalism is exactly that, in my opinion: the promotion of globalization at the same time as the retreat of public power, in its discretionary and interventionist aspects, in favor of global rules that put democracies on automatic pilot. Thirty years ago, it would have been possible to conceive of a completely different kind of globalization based on interdependence and solidarity, but this would have meant arming public power in a completely different way. Instead, we had interdependence without solidarity. Today we see how vulnerable this has made us.

Public authorities must now regain a sense of the long term. States must not repeat the 2009 mistake of signing blank checks to companies in difficulty. The recovery plan must not just be about rushing money out the door, but about sorting out three categories: what we want to keep, what we want to see disappear, and what we want to create. In other words, it must have a strong ethical and political content.

Conclusion

As you will have understood, this new society will have to be organized around the terroirs and living areas, which are, along with the nations, the other essential element of the social fabric. Within these regions: revalorization of jobs aiming to connect people; synergies between public authorities, civil society and economic operators; consumers who, out of civic-mindedness, direct their purchases towards short-distance production or towards Made in Europe; a greater share of the added value produced on the territory; a reinvented local democracy.

Of course, this new model of society cannot be proclaimed by decree. It will also be important to deeply revitalize democracy. The institutional balance to be found for Western democracies is incredibly subtle: in a world of dangers and risks, it is necessary to maintain efficiency, reactivity, a sense of time, all of which are proper to the State and to a strong executive, and at the same time it is time to open the locks, the doors and windows to civil society and to allow citizens and different social forces to participate in writing this new narrative. It will therefore be necessary to invent hybrid regimes where efficiency and long-term sustainability are preserved, but where democratic life is enhanced by an authentic form of continuing democracy.We cannot rewind History. At the very most, we can only hope that humanity will not reproduce the attitude mocked by Jean de La Fontaine in his famous fable “Les animaux malades de la peste”: that which consists, at the heart of the epidemic, under the influence of fear, in designating scapegoats rather than fraternally building solutions for a controlled and slowed down globalization.

Notes

  1. For a first analysis, see the text published by the author at the beginning of the health crisis: D. Djaïz, “Coronavirus: la mondialisation malade de ses crises”, Le Grand continent, 23 mars 2020 : https://legrandcontinent.eu/fr/2020/03/23/coronavirus-mondialisation-david-djaiz/.
  2. See on this issue: H. de Vauplane, “Covid-19 : que faire des dettes souveraines?”, Le Grand continent, 30 June 2020: https://legrandcontinent.eu/fr/2020/06/30/covid-19-que-faire-des-dettes-souveraines/.
  3. D. Djaïz, Slow Démocratie, Allary Éditions, 2019.
  4. T. Friedman, The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2005.
  5. L. Davezies, La République et ses territoires : La circulation invisible des richesses, Seuil, coll. “La République des idées”, 2008.
  6. A. Tooze, Crashed, Les Belles Lettres (French translation), 2018.
  7. P. Daszak, “Anatomy of a Pandemic”, The Lancet, vol. 380, Dec. 1, 2012.
  8. M. Lussault, L’avènement du Monde : Essai sur l’habitation humaine de la terre, Seuil, 2013.
  9. C. Nicolle, Destin des maladies infectieuses, 1933.
  10. See: https://legrandcontinent.eu/fr/observatoire-coronavirus/.
  11. M. Lussault, Hyper-lieux : les nouvelles géographies de la mondialisation, Seuil, 2017.
  12. P. Guarraia, “Corporate supply chains vulnerable to coronavirus shocks”, Financial Times, March 8 2020 : https://www.ft.com/content/be05b46a-5fa9-11ea-b0ab-339c2307bcd4.
  13. J. Fourquet, L’archipel français, Seuil, 2019.
  14. “The disease also triggered other more serious disorders in the city. Everyone indulged in the pursuit of pleasure with a daring that he had previously hidden. At the sight of these sudden changes, of the rich suddenly dying and the poor suddenly becoming rich from the riches of the dead, people sought quick profits and pleasures, since life and wealth were also ephemeral. No one showed any eagerness to reach an honest goal with any difficulty; for one did not know whether one would live long enough to reach it. Pleasure and all the means to reach it were considered beautiful and useful. No one was held back either by the fear of the gods or by human laws; piety was not esteemed any more than impiety, since one saw everyone perish indiscriminately; moreover, one did not think he would live long enough to have to account for his faults. What was more important was that the judgment had already been given and was threatening; before undergoing it, it was better to derive some enjoyment from life”.
  15. M. Delmas-Marty, « Gouverner la mondialisation par le droit », Revue européenne du droit, Sept. 2020 : https://legrandcontinent.eu/fr/2020/03/18/coronavirus-mondialisation-droit-delmas-marty/.
  16. .On the Global Pact for the Environment, see in this issue Y. Aguila and M.C. de Bellis, “A Martian at the United Nations or Naive Thoughts on Global Environmental Governance”, Revue européenne du droit, March 2021.
  17. M. Walzer, “Les deux universalismes”, Esprit, n° 187, December 1992, pp. 114-133.
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David Djaïz, A new architecture for globalization, Aug 2021, 88-94.

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