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Seven Stories Press

Works of Radical Imagination

The Pandemic Pivot

A Report from the Institute for Policy Studies, The Transnational Institute, and Focus on the Global South

by John Feffer

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Experts from the frontlines of global policy tackle the implications of Covid-19

Transformative change can come out of the COVID-19 crisis, which has exposed everything that's wrong with decades of the world's governments betting on militarism, competition and wealth creation. A return to sanity and humane governance is still possible. We need a pandemic pivot.

Both a sobering analysis of the present moment and a hopeful cry on behalf of the power inherent in a global, people-oriented response to the pandemic and the societal breakdown that led to it, The Pandemic Pivot offers insight and an actionable framework for what Cindy Wiesner calls "a just transition to a regenerative, anti-racist, feminist economy." As The Pandemic Pivot demonstrates, equity and cooperation aren't just nice principles, they're survival strategies.

In June and July of 2020, the Institute for Policy Studies invited 68 of the world's leading thinkers and activists to participate in eight in-depth discussions. Their task: to assess the implications of COVID-19 for key global issues as well as the potential for transformative change coming out of this crisis. They discussed a Green recovery, the global economy, coronavirus authoritarianism, migrants and refugees, budget priorities, the global ceasefire, international civil society, and multilateral cooperation. This report by John Feffer from the frontlines of global policy stands in stark contrast to the reality in the world today. Reading it amounts to a return to sanity and humane governance, and illuminates the way forward that is still possible if we begin soon.

Participants included EcoEquity Executive Director and author Tom Athanasiou; Nigerian architect, environmental activist and author Nnimmo Bassey; Focus on the Global South co-founder and author Walden Bello; CODEPINK and Global Exchange co-founder and acclaimed peace activist Medea Benjamin; AFL-CIO International Department director Cathy Feingold; Indian columnist and International Development Economics Associates executive secretary Jayati Ghosh; author and arms trade expert Bill Hartung; Peace and World Security Studies director and noted author Michael Klare; Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft CEO and noted author Lora Lumpe; Yale professor and distinguished author on human rights and peace studies Samuel Moyn; Geneva-based human rights advocate Aziz Muhamat; acclaimed political philosopher Jan-Werner Muller; African storyteller and writer Coumba Toure––to name just a few, representing organizations and regions from across the globe.

The Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) is a progressive think tank based in Washington, DC, dedicated to building a more equitable, ecologically sustainable, and peaceful society. In partnership with dynamic social movements, we turn transformative policy ideas into action.

Based in Amsterdam, The Transnational Institute (TNI) is an international research and advocacy institute committed to building a just, democratic, and sustainable world. For more than 40 years, TNI has served as a unique nexus between social movements, engaged scholars, and policy makers.

Focus on the Global South was established in 1995 to challenge neoliberalism, militarism and corporate-driven globalisation while strengthening just and equitable alternatives. With offices in Bangkok, New Delhi, and Manila, we work in solidarity with the Global South – the great majority of humanity that is marginalized and dispossessed by corporate-driven globalisation and global capitalism – believing that progressive social change and Global South solidarity are imperative if the needs and aspirations of oppressed peoples across the world are to be met.

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blog — October 20

A Better World is Possible After COVID-19

A better world is possible after COVID-19

An exclusive eBook from Seven Stories Press  (and only $5 . . . !)

“If there is any positive feature to the terrible plague that has struck, it is that it has stimulated reflection on the deeper malaise of the prevailing social order and its ideological underpinnings. The varied and thoughtful voices gathered here provide much insight on what must be done to confront still worse threats that are imminent and to construct a better world.” —Noam Chomsky

Experts from the frontlines of global policy tackle the implications of Covid-19

Releasing today as an eBook exclusively through the Seven Stories website, The Pandemic Pivot: A Report from the Institute for Policy Studies, The Transnational Institute, and Focus on the Global South by John Feffer is one of the first books to analyze the disastrous COVID-19 pandemic in terms of its potential as a catalyst for positive societal change.

More than simply an analysis of the current moment, The Pandemic Pivot provides both a launching point for discussions of how to move forward and a hopeful blueprint for a more just and egalitarian society, offering insight and an actionable framework for "a just transition to a regenerative, anti-racist, feminist economy" (Cindy Wiesner). As this thoughtful, highly informed book demonstrates, equity and cooperation aren’t just nice principles — they’re survival strategies for the future of humanity.

In summer 2020, 68 of the world’s leading thinkers and activists participated in eight in-depth discussions. Their task: to assess the implications of COVID-19 for key global issues as well as the potential for transformative change coming out of this crisis. They discussed a Green recovery, the global economy, coronavirus authoritarianism, migrants and refugees, budget priorities, the global ceasefire, international civil society, and multilateral cooperation. This report by John Feffer on those discussions amounts to a blueprint for how we can return to sanity and humane governance, and illuminates the way forward that is still possible if we begin soon.

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John Feffer’s books include Beyond Detente: Soviet Foreign Policy and U.S. Options, Shock Waves: Eastern Europe After the Revolutions, and Living in Hope: Communities Respond to Globalization. From 1998 to 2001, Feffer lived in Tokyo and traveled throughout East Asia, making more than twenty trips to South Korea and three trips to North Korea. He now lives in the Washington, DC area.