Monday, September 28, 2020

COVID and the Global Order

covid statistics

A new virtual discussion series cosponsored by the Center for Global Legal Challenges at Yale Law School and Yale’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs will explore the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on the global order and whether its effects will last long after the pandemic ends.

The 2020 coronavirus pandemic has cost hundreds of thousands of lives. In the process, it has placed new stresses on an already fragile global order. In the early days of the pandemic, the failure of the World Health Organization to stem the spread of the virus led many to question the efficacy of global institutions to address global threats. Many nations tried to prevent the spread of the virus by shutting their borders to travel. The failure of a coherent global response has laid bare how much global institutions had come to rely on a United States that, in this instance, abdicated its role as leader in the world, according to the organizers.


The series grew out of conversations among several Law School faculty held on Zoom over the late spring and throughout the summer.

“We see the series as an opportunity to think about the broader impact of the pandemic, not just on the United States but on the world.  An important role that universities can play right now is to place the moment we’re in into broader context. That’s the essential first step toward taking effective action,” said Gerard C. and Bernice Latrobe Smith Professor of International Law Oona Hathaway ’97, who also directs the Center for Global Legal Challenges.

Series co-organizer Cristina Rodriguez ’00, Leighton Homer Surbeck Professor of Law, added, “this series grew out of a summer seminar we convened to think through how the pandemic might upend global mobility and international integration, as well as how its spread and persistence has confronted policymakers and thinkers with the limits and weaknesses of global institutions and the centralized nation-state both.” 

The first panel in the series will focus on the future of U.S. national security with Martin R. Flug Visiting Lecturer in Law Jake Sullivan ’03 and Brady-Johnson Distinguished Practitioner in Grand Strategy at Yale University Victoria Nuland.

Future panels will cover global migration and movement across borders, nationalism and cosmopolitanism, and the global economic order. For more information and to register for the panels, visit

The Jackson Institute for Global Affairs promotes education and scholarship on global affairs at Yale.

The Yale Law School Center for Global Legal Challenges bridges the divide between the legal academy and legal practice on global legal issues. The Center aims to inject new ideas into legal policy debates and grow a new generation of lawyers with a sense of their capacity and responsibility to use international law, foreign affairs law, and national security law to address real challenges facing the nation.