Forwarding Europe’s ‘Smart Power’ through the Current COVID Crisis

Research Paper by Giuliano Irace

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Abstract

The current covid-19 pandemic has radically shaken the liberal international order from its very foundations. However, the architecture of such system has already witnessed three previous fractions, caused by counter-ideologies, and has held steady and strong throughout time. The reason is simple: its ability to morph and renew itself according with changes. Although at the time of writing, several vaccines are coming up from multinational companies, European citizens deserve a stable, sustainable and definitive solution to this transnational and transversal issue. The solution must come from the European Union itself. This paper aims to answer the following research question: Within the current covid-19 crisis, how can Europe combine its soft and hard power resources to successfully translate them in smart power strategies that would enhance its role as a global actor? To answer this question, this research is divided in two macro parts. The first, is composed of introduction, literature review and methodology. The second is more of an attempt to give a comprehensive policy framework for the liberal international order, after this pandemic. The researcher has tried to focus on what, in his humble view, and in the view of several scholars cited in the text, could be the challenges that the EU might effectively tackle, thanks to the theoretical, economic and methodological parts, and given the insights and ideas of the policy recommendations, outlined in the second part. The author has maintained a creative approach in the assessment of this topic.