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The Future of Global Great Power Competition after the Coronavirus

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the domestic and foreign policy agendas of all countries have been turned upside down. The pandemic has brought new problems and competition areas to states and to the international system. While the pandemic politically calls to mind the post-World War II era, it can also be compared with the 2008 crisis due to its economic effects such as unemployment and the disruption of global supply chains. A debate immediately began for a new international system; however, it seems that the current international system will be affected, but will not experience a radical change. That is, a new international order is not expected, while disorder is most likely in the post-pandemic period. In an atmosphere of global instability where debates on the U.S.-led international system have been worn for a while, in the post-pandemic period states will invest in self-sufficiency and redefine their strategic areas, especially in health security. The decline of U.S. leadership, the challenging policies of China, the effects of Chinese policies on the U.S.-China relations and the EU’s deepening crisis are going to be the main discussion topics that will determine the future of the international system.

The Future of Global Great Power Competition after the Coronavirus
 

Received Date: 20/04/2020  •  Accepted Date: 03/06/2020 

 

 

Introduction

 

The year 2019 set the stage for major developments in world politics and in Turkey’s domestic affairs. Although the year kicked off with a heated public debate on U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from Syria, domestic politics soon became the center of attention in Turkey due to the March 31 municipal elections and a repeat election for İstanbul’s local government on June 23. Ahead of the municipal elections, public debate revolved around the question of national survival, with references to the various parties’ views on counter-terrorism, and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s call for a ‘Turkey Alliance,’ whereas the main opposition Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) victories in İstanbul and Ankara emerged as a popular topic in the election’s aftermath. At the same time, the conflict in neighboring Syria remained the centerpiece of Turkey’s foreign policy agenda. That crisis played out in multiple dimensions that include Turkey’s bilateral cooperation and tensions with the United States and Russia, leader-to-leader diplomacy and a series of agreements. Tensions over Turkey’s decision to purchase the S-400 air defense system from Russia, the threat of economic sanctions and removal from the F-35 joint fighter program, speculations about the sanctions as a result of Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) against Turkey, the Turkish-American agreement on a safe zone in northern Syria, and Operation Peace Spring made their mark on Turkey-U.S. relations. Other important items on Turkey’s diplomatic agenda included the G20, United Nations and NATO summits as well as agreements with Libya in the Eastern Mediterranean.

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