As country after country closed its borders amid the spreading coronavirus pandemic, a flurry of commentators from across the political spectrum predicted that the outbreak would upend how we think about the flow of people and goods across borders and leave a markedly different world in its wake. Publications ranging from the right-leaning PJ Media to the left-leaning Nation have run pieces predicting that the coronavirus will spell the imminent end of globalization. While globalization may be down, however, it is still too early to count it out. The coronavirus pandemic is certainly a serious blow to the international system. That said, the logic for why the virus will destroy globalization rests on three sets of arguments, none of which stands up to scrutiny. And so, while the pandemic will change the mechanics of globalization, it will likely not spell globalization’s death knell.

Why COVID-19 Will Not Stop Globalization | RAND