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Global Governance in the Age of COVID

Ian Hurd, Director of the Center for International & Area Studies and Professor of Political Science at Northwestern, is heading up the Global Governance in the Age of COVID research project with support from a new grant program of Northwestern's Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, COVID-19 Research Seed Fund Awards 2020.

As a leading scholar of global governance and international institutions (he is the author of International Organizations: Politics, Law, Practice, now in its fourth edition, and co-editor of The Oxford Handbook of International Organizations), Hurd is ideally positioned to lead this initiative, which he is doing with a research team in the Department of Political Science, under the auspices of the Center for International & Area Studies.

About the Project

The Covid-19 pandemic reveals the fragility of international organizations and an urgent need for new global institutions. Life in a world with pervasive SARS-CoV2 and future unforeseen pathogens requires new institutional arrangements at the local, national, and global levels. This project addresses the need for new forms of governance in post-pandemic public international affairs. Past international crises have driven changes in authority and governance among governments.

The Covid crisis may do the same for international public health: it is becoming clear that mechanisms for diagnostics, information sharing, and research are urgently needed on a global scale and that neither governments nor traditional inter-state organizations are well suited to meet them. By assessing the successes and failures of existing international organizations we will identify these gaps and then propose a new generation of institutions.