The Pandemic Paradox in International Law
114 American Journal of International Law (2020 Forthcoming)
11 Pages Posted: 17 Aug 2020 Last revised: 21 Aug 2020
Date Written: 2020
This article examines a series of paradoxes that have rendered the international legal order’s mechanisms for collective action powerless precisely when they are most needed to fight COVID-19. The “patriotism paradox” is that disengagement from the international legal order weakens rather than strengthens state sovereignty. The “border paradox” is that securing domestic populations by excluding non-citizens, in the absence of accompanying regulatory mechanisms to secure adherence to internal health measures, accelerates viral spread among citizens. The “equality paradox” is that while pandemics pose an equal threat to all people, their impacts compound existing inequalities.
Keywords: International Law, International Legal Order, Global Governance, COVID-19, Pandemic
JEL Classification: K33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation