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Untitled Document

Chair:Anjan Sen
Co-chair:Soma Sengupta

COVID-19 Global Pandemic, 2020 The COVID-19 global pandemic of 2020 will be a milestone event in world history, which future generations will talk, read and ponder about, as we iconify and portray the World Wars as the watershed moments of the early twentieth century. It is being foreseen that the resultant world-wide lockdown will severely impact the world economy to cataclysmic proportions, thereby leading to a great depression. Therefore, the twin event of pandemic plus lockdown will be a ready-made recipe for the eventual rise of a new international economic order (NIEO). New International Economic Order (NIEO) Though, NIEO is a fifty year old concept that was specifically conceptualized in 1970s to promote the interests of developing countries vis-à-vis developed countries. Yet, re-conceptualizing it generically, the concept has always relevant because the international economic order like an organism continues to evolve. The world from being unipolar in the nineteenth century (hegemony of UK) to bi-polar during the cold war era (US and USSR), became unipolar (US) in the post-cold war era to substantially being multi-polar today (US, China, India, etc.). World's Economic Center of Gravity (ECoG) World's Economic Center of Gravity (ECoG) is the weighted mean centre of the world, weighted by each country's wealth (GNP). Studies have shown that in 1 AD, the ECoG was in India, which over the next two millenniums gradually shifted to USA, due to decline of orient and rise of occident because of colonialism. In 1990-95, the ECoG was located at New York, as USA was then an economic powerhouse. However, between 1995 and 2005, as the economic might of US waned due to emergence of new economies in east, the ECoG began to move east. Between 2005 and 2015, the ECoG rapidly moved eastwards due to blooming of China, India and Russia, coupled with recession in West. The ECoG shifted from New York, home to the richest of the rich in the 1990s; to London, the new playground of the super-wealthy in 2000s. With rise of wealthy in SE Asia, South America and Africa; Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong, Singapore and Dubai are new magnets of wealth. As American fortunes declined and new markets emerged, CoEG's movement has been ten times faster than in earlier years. Following the global crisis, the pace of movement has slowed, but it continues to move south-easterly. Emergence of BRICS vis-à-vis G7 Wealth is today equally spread across North America, Europe and Asia (approximately 30-35% in each). The eastward shift of global ECoG has brought about new equations in world's geopolitics. The share of emerging markets in Global GDP now exceeds that of the developed world (Jan Dehn, 2014). Share of emerging markets in global GDP hit 50.4% in 2013, up from 31% in 1980 ("World Economic Outlook”, April, 2014). BRICS has become a political reality since 2010s; and it will soon surpass G7 in terms of GDP. Post-Covid-19 and New World Economic Order The pandemic accompanied with lockdown is likely to hasten the decline of west represented by G7, and accelerate the rise of east represented by BRICS. The orient is avenging the occident for demeaning its glorious civilizations, and reclaiming its economic and political space, that it lost due to political colonialism accompanied by economic imperialism. The present session has inter-disciplinary relevance, overlapping several contemporary sub-fields of geography - environment, economic, social and political geography. The session addresses several complex and composite contemporary issues resulting from the covid-19 pandemic and related lockdown, ranging from an individual to the global level. The session is seeking general and specific, theoretical studies, case-studies and viewpoints, on issues related to it.