Challenges to Global Health – is Humanist Globolocal Biopolitics Possible?
MGIMO University,Moscow, Russia; Institute of Sociology of the Federal Canter of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia, email@example.com
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Kravchenko S.A. COVID-19 Pandemic: Challenges to Global Health – is Humanist Globolocal Biopolitics Possible? – Polis. Political Studies. 2020. No. 6. P. 91-102. (In Russ.). https://doi.org/10.17976/jpps/2020.06.07
The article deals with the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the health of the world’s population, looked at through the context of the crisis in biopolitics. Biopolitics is based on liberal principles of formal rationalization, pragmatism, and mercantilism, which have – under the conditions of complex, non-linear, developing societies – proven to be dysfunctional; these reproduce ineffective approaches to medical insurance and to the treatment of patients whose situations do not correspond to the realities of interdependent development today. Specific contradictions of biopolitics, determined by its pragmatic values, are revealed; these now have become especially evident in their inability to effectively counteract the pandemic. In connection with this, possibilities of transitioning from biopolitics to another developmental trend are analyzed. It is shown that two opposing approaches to reforming existing biopolitical institutions have been formed: 1) the creation of a form of cosmopolitan biopolitics, assuming that its functionality social epidemiology, and take into account principles of substantive rationality and humanism, which are adequate to the complexities and non-linear progression of international development; 2) the movement towards improving nationally-oriented biopolitics, based on the “universal” principles of formal rationality and pragmatism, which, in the author’s opinion, is a dead end, as it does not eliminate the confrontational division of the world into “Us” and “Others”, nor does it address the risks posed by inequalities in the international division of labour. It is substantiated that the outcome of this confrontation depends on the objective factors of the nonlinear development of social and natural realities, which imply normative turbulence, natural discontinuities, and the possibility of bifurcation points, but to a large extent also imply a subjective factor of the reflexivity of scientific and political actors. In conclusion, the crisis of the current state of biopolitics, which has deepened under the influence of COVID-19, and the ambiguous results in overcoming the challenges of the pandemic, suggest that in the post-coronavirus world, biopolitics will not be western-centric.
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