Mar 10, 2022
4:00 PM (GMT-5)
Toronto Public Library and Ryerson University
The Covid-19 pandemic has posed the greatest test of international solidarity in many decades. At the outset, the political leaders of many western democracies pledged, ‘we are all in this together’. Yet the pandemic has imposed a severely unequal toll within societies and across the world. In advanced industrialized democracies, Covid-19 has exposed the special vulnerability of the elderly, frontline workers with precarious contracts and inadequate social protection, and ethnic and racial minorities. Their counterparts in the global South have suffered even greater challenges. The greater prevalence of informal work, weaker health systems and strained public finances limited the capacity of many governments in Latin America, Asia and Africa to respond adequately. Persistent vaccine nationalism by rich northern democracies has created gross inequities in the manufacturing and distribution of tests, medicines and vaccines. Many poorer countries, whose citizens still await their first dose, now face a looming debt crisis.
What explains these severe global inequities? To what extent does the trajectory of the pandemic reflect deeper structural imbalances in the world political economy and the regimes that govern it? And what reforms are necessary to create a more just international order?
The renowned feminist development economist and CEPR Senior Research Fellow Jayati Ghosh addresses these questions in conversation with Sanjay Ruparelia.