LONDON : The coronavirus it seems is a gift to right-wing politicians seeking to close borders.

WELL before a deadly virus began to spreading across multiple borders, a world defined by deepening interconnection appeared to be reassessing the merits of globalization.

The United States, led by the unabashed nationalist Donald J Trump. was ordering multinational companies to abandon China and make their goods in American factories.

Britain was forsaking the European Union, almost certainly reviving custom checks on both sides of the English Channel, while threatening to disrupt a vital relationship.

A surge of refugees fleeing some of the most dangerous places on earth - Syria, Afghanistan, Central America - had produced a backlash against immigration in many developed countries.

In Europe, it elevated the stature of extreme right-wing parties that were winning votes with promises to slam the gates shut. President Trump was pursuing the construction of a wall running along the border with Mexico, while seeking to bar Muslims from entering the country.

The coronavirus that had seeped out of China, insinuating itself in at least 78 countries while killing more than 3,200 people has effectively accelerated and intensified the pushback to global connection.

It has sown chaos in the global supply chain that links factories across borders and oceans, enabling plants that produce finished products to draw parts, components and raw materials from around the world. Many companies are now seeking alternative suppliers in countries that appear less vulnerable to disruption.

The epidemic has supplied Europe's right-wing parties fresh opportunity to sound the alarm about open borders. It has confined millions of people to their communities and even inside their homes, giving them to ponder whether globalization was really such a great idea.

''It reinforces all the fears about open borders,'' said Ian Goldin, a professor of globalization and development at Oxford University and an author of 2014 book that anticipated a backlash to liberalism via a pandemic:
''The Butterfly Defect : How Globalization Creates Systemic Risks, and What to Do About It.''

''In North America and Europe, there is a recalibration, a wanting to engage on a more selective basis,'' he said.

By. Mr. Goldin's estimation, the coronavirus is merely the latest force to reveal the deficiencies of globalization as it has been managed in recent decades - an under-regulated complacent form of interconnection that has left communities vulnerable to a portent array of threats.

The honor and serving of the latest global operational research and writings on globalization and systemic risks, continues. The World Students Society thanks author Peter S. Goodman.


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