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Mains Practice Questions

  • Q. "Globalisation was already under significant threat from rising nationalism, the pandemic appears to have introduced additional fear and uncertainty among nations". Discuss. (250 words)

    21 Jul, 2020 GS Paper 2 International Relations


    • Briefly introduce Globalisation and nationalism and establish the link between the two terms.
    • Mention the reason for rising nationalism and its effect on globalisation.
    • Present the facts about the recent breakdown of Covid-19 and its impact on globalisation.
    • Conclude suitably.


    • Globalisation is the way to enhance the trade relations between any two countries. It is the medium to eliminate global trade barriers. Whereas nationalism refers to having one's own country above that of others.
    • Globalisation and Nationalism derive their essence from key ideological bases. While globalisation propounds interdependence of geographical borders, focusing more on synergies between two or more entities. Nationalism propounds core National interests - a corollary to commensalism relationship that sometimes turns to amensalism relationship.


    • Factors responsible for rising Nationalism:
      • National interests are now being considered mutually exclusive of global interests, e.g. the US President’s withdrawal from global pacts like the Paris accord.
      • Alleged rise and electoral success of conservative leaders also contribute to its social acceptance of growing nationalism.
      • Particularly common reasons are threat posed by illegal migration and refugee especially in the west, in the aftermath of the so-called migration crisis
    • Effect of nationalism on globalisation: Increasing nationalism would eventually lead to countries closing down their borders for immigration and trade leading to a vacuum in the world trading system.
    • Effect of Covid-19 on globalization:
      • Global economic crisis: United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) in its annual Economic and Social Survey, held that the Covid-19 crisis is a challenge never seen before and it is going to be a bigger shock for the world economy than the Global Financial Crisis.
      • Problem faced by emerging and developing economies: The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development held that emerging and developing economies which rely on export-led growth, will now be severely impacted as the global economy contracts and the world opts protectionism policies.
      • Halting of WTO talks: This may indicate worse days ahead for the WTO, as trade rules have worked best when the global economy is booming and isn’t facing a crisis.
      • Restriction on people to people movement: National governments will have to weigh the risks of contagious diseases against the benefits of ease of travel or may have to consider stronger safeguards.
        • In the short run, the World’s Tourism industry will get affected even after the crisis gets over.
        • Also, mobilisation of finance will be indirectly affected as less migration and business travel coupled with incentives to invest at home will hinder transnational capital flow.


    • The exclusionary tendencies of Nationalism have been reinforced by the pandemic leading to Deglobalization.
    • From the closure of borders and the difficulty of mobilizing support and solidarity, the response appears to make nationalism more salient as people look to support their own communities.
    • It is thus evident that the pandemic has introduced additional fear and uncertainty among individuals.
    • However, the inability to confront the pandemic within the confines of a nation-state underlines the need for cooperation, even if the immediate response has often been otherwise.

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