Can South Korea save globalization?

Geun Lee sets out a plan for countries to prosper under the threat of pandemic.

The World Today Published 1 August 2020 Updated 27 September 2020 6 minute READ

Geun Lee

President and Professor, Korea Foundation and Seoul National University

Crises of a global scale, such as the oil shock of 1973 and the 2008 financial crisis, trigger reforms that allow countries to respond more effectively if and when the crisis returns.

The first oil shock, which saw crude prices quadruple, changed energy policies, consumption patterns and social structures in energy-scarce countries. The world thereafter was fundamentally different, with countries never returning to the pre-1973 paradigms.

The same can be said of Asian countries after the 1997 Asian financial crisis, and most of the world after the 2008 banking crisis. Shocks force people and governments to reallocate resources and, over time, these changes become the new normal.

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