Global Politics in the Age of Coronavirus: Nationalism Vs. International Cooperation

ISA Study Center with Universidad Internacional Menéndez Pelayo-Sevilla

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Global Politics in the Age of Coronavirus: Nationalism Vs. International Cooperation

  • Host University

    ISA Study Center with Universidad Internacional Menéndez Pelayo-Sevilla

  • Location

    Seville, Spain

  • Area of Study

    International Politics

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

    Hours & Credits

  • Contact Hours

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Course Description: The G20 leaders say the world's leading economies will do whatever it takes to overcome the coronavirus pandemic, adding that tackling the pandemic and its intertwined health, social, and economic impacts is the “absolute priority,” according to the summit's final statement. This course will analyze the global capacity for the political structures to deal with the greatest challenge to international well-being since the Second World War.

    The shifting Geopolitics, the global political events and the role of the supranational institutions will be critically analyzed in this course.

    Learning objectives:

    - Identify the main role of international institutions.

    - Critically analyze the challenges that international institutions face during the time of crises

    - Understand the basics of EU institutions and of European political dynamics, to be in position to critically analyze the previous and current crisis.

    - Analyze the alternatives to a bipolar world: China and the US.

    - Understand the main political, ideological and ethical issues that challenge the post Covid19 societies.

    Experiential learning component:

    Optional practicum at Dare Think.

    Mapping the world after the crisis. Students will be asked to debate and evaluate, with the help of local/national personalities and leaders (either directly or by video-conference), the type of world that is emerging from the crisis. They will do so: a) by grading (from 1 to 10) the performance of the international institutions and the different countries scrutinized; and b) by coloring the political-ideological direction in which it is moving (assigning a color to the various countries' evolution along the three aforementioned political-ideological axes). Thus, by the end of the course, a map of the coming post-crisis world will emerge.

    Schoology will be the primary website used to facilitate this course. Students will have access immediately after the placement test.

    Course contents:


    How are the world's multilateral institutions responding to the crisis? We will analyze, debate and eventually evaluate the role and performance --in coordinating international solutions, facilitating resources and proving guidance-- of the following institutions, organizations and groups:

    1.1. United Nations: the Security Council and the UN Secretary General

    - The UN System: World Health Organization

    1.2. Regional organizations:

    - European Union, Organization of American States, African Union, Arab League, ASEAN

    1.3. Multilateral economic institutions (from a political/diplomatic perspective)

    - International Monetary Fund (IMF), Word Bank (WB), World Trade Organization (WTO)

    1.4. Multilateral groups: G-20

    Our paramount question will be: What have they done?


    We will examine the policies, internal politics and diplomacy in prevention / reaction to the pandemic, in the major global powers. We shall pay special attention to their differing political regimes, levels of economic development and distinctive national cultures, as well as to the leadership of top officials and political figures. The countries to be surveyed are the following.

    2.1. The global powers: USA, China, India, Russia and Japan.

    2.2. European countries on their own: Germany, France, UK, Italy, Spain, Sweden.

    2.3. We compare other relevant nations: South Korea and North Korea (East Asia); Mexico and Brazil (Latin America); South Africa and Nigeria (Africa); Iran and Turkey (Middle-East); Pakistan and Indonesia (South Asia and South East Asia).

    Our paramount question will be: Who can claim to be successful?


    Political and ideological divides (right, center, left) around the world are shifting during the pandemic. We examine how the post-crisis world is being shaped by them.

    Three axial political-ideological issues relevant world-wide are examined to project how national politics, the economy and society are being shaped by the on-going health and economic drama:

    3.1. Authoritarianism versus liberal democracy, as broad categories, with more nuanced distinctions between:

    - Individual freedoms versus collective security

    - Populism/new politics versus establishment/traditional parties

    - Popular attitudes versus elite behaviour

    - Individualism vs community interest

    3.2. Public sector versus private markets (the role of government and its weight in the economy and society)

    3.3. Nationalism and versus international cooperation (protectionism + self-reliance vs globalization and openness)

    Three fields will be our focus in tracking shifts on the relevant issues:

    3.4. The intellectual and academic debate, as displayed in the top media.

    3.5. The political debate, as reflected in parliaments, government pronouncements, elections and opinion polls

    3.6. The societal mood, as shown in the actions and pronouncements of unions, labor associations, NGOs, professional associations and community/neighborhood organizations.

    Our paramount question will be: What ideas and values are emerging?

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Some courses may require additional fees.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

Availability of courses is based on enrollment numbers. All students should seek pre-approval for alternate courses in the event of last minute class cancellations