‘Systemic Risk’ of Globalization: Analyzing the Case of COVID-19

Fatema Tuj Juhra


Globalization, as a concept and practice, has been identified as double-edged sword with its positive and negative impacts. The history of human civilization has been experiencing the benefits of globalization in terms of global trade, connectivity, and integration. But the adverse effects of globalization are also concentrated within this increasing connectivity which can lead to increasing complexity. Globalization can affect the economy, environment, and health security and such a reality leads to the possibility of ‘breakdown’ in the entire system which is considered as a ‘systemic risk’. Ian Goldin and Mike Mariathasan have explained the concept of ‘systemic risk’ with regards to financial crises, business and trade, cyber-attacks, environmental degradation, fear of viruses and pandemics and increasing inequality. This paper aims to trace the relevance of the COVID-19 pandemic to the concept of systemic risk as a by-product of globalization. By using a qualitative methodology, this research has scrutinized COVID-19 as the outcome of the adversative effects of globalization through which extremism, protectionism, nationalism and xenophobia have increased and the word ‘foreign’ has become synonymous of danger. Through the experience of this massive health risk, within the concept of systemic risk, this paper will identify the significance of an interconnected world which will draw lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic caused by globalization.


Keywords: COVID-19, connectivity, globalization, pandemic, systemic risk