In this edition of AIAC Talk, we speak to Adam Tooze, Professor of History at Columbia University, about his latest book Shutdown: How COVID Shook the World Economy. The COVID pandemic is ongoing, and since its outset has provoked unprecedented response from governments, central banks, corporations, and civil society. Although some key fiscal and monetary responses have departed from mainstay neoliberal orthodoxies, were they pursued to keep things fundamentally the same—to restore the “normal” that was the very problem? How have these measures failed to end the pandemic, as elites continue to prioritize their own self-interests in acts of organized irresponsibility. As social and ecological crises worsen, is there hope for more egalitarian politics within and between countries? How do Africa and the global South, more broadly, fit into the escalating power struggle between China and the US?
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