Coronavirus as a factor of the transformational crisis: legal aspect and international legal consequences

Publication type Article
Status Published
Occupation: Professor of the chair of theory of state and law
Affiliation: Kikot’ Moscow University of the Ministry of Interior of the Russian Federation
Address: Russian Federation,
Occupation: Director of the Center for political science studies
Affiliation: Financial University under the Government of the Russian Federation
Address: Russian Federation
Address: Russian Federation
Journal nameGosudarstvo i pravo
EditionIssue 6

Introduction. This article presents an interdisciplinary study of a rather complex set of legal aspects and international legal consequences of the transformation of the political and other subsystems of modern society in the context of the coronavirus pandemic. It is especially noted that this is not so much about the impact of the pandemic itself as a medical phenomenon, but rather a factor of coronavirus, which is divided into informational (coverage of the problem by the authorities) and administrative (directly regulatory and legal with accompanying law enforcement practices). The authors approach the study of the problem in a comprehensive manner, in a broad context, analyzing the very nature of the crisis provoked by the coronavirus factor, and its socio-political consequences, which, in turn, are reflected in legal reality. At the same time, according to the authors, the tendencies themselves that manifested themselves during the pandemic were not provoked by it, they were outlined a long time ago, and now they have only entered an open phase. Materials and methods. The study was based on an interdisciplinary approach that allowed us to establish the economic nature of the underlying determinants of the currently observed changes in the law, the political sphere and other subsystems of modern society. Using the structuralist economic paradigm to define the ongoing processes as a transformational crisis. The study also makes extensive use of analogy and comparison methods to see the common features of the current transformation crisis of 1914–1945 and its differences from the 2008 economic crisis. The analysis of national jurisdictions in matters of legal regulation of relations in the context of the coronavirus pandemic was accompanied by comparative legal and political analysis. Research results. The study made it possible to see in the coronavirus factor only the outer shell of the observed crisis, which affects, first of all, the economic, political and legal subsystems of modern society. From the standpoint of the underlying causes and long-standing trends of social development identified in the study, changes in public administration that took place during the pandemic were assessed as an open phase of a transformational crisis affecting not only the economy, but also the political, legal, and informational sphere of modern society. In the political and legal sphere, the coronavirus factor provoked an accelerated transformation of the legal framework in which most nation states functioned since the second half of the 20th century. Discussion and conclusions. The authors put forward and analyze several hypotheses. According to the first, the currently widespread conclusions that the crisis provoked by the pandemic and the closure of state borders means the end of globalization is oversimplified and therefore incorrect. The analysis of this hypothesis led to the conclusion that in reality, under the influence of the coronavirus factor, the processes of globalization only accelerated, but «physical» globalization began to be replaced by digital. This, in turn, makes it relevant to change the tools of international legal regulation, which is currently mostly "sharpened" for offline processes. In accordance with the second hypothesis, the pandemic provoked (but did not become a cause, but only an excuse) a serious shift in the legal framework in which the society of most nation states existed in the second half of the 20th – early 21st centuries. The noticeable change in the relationship between the rights and obligations of members of society (in particular, representatives of the disappearing, according to the authors of the article, middle class as the main carrier of legal culture), as well as the change in the relationship between rights and their correlating capabilities, established in the study, confirmed this assumption. Based on the third hypothesis, the pandemic has given a new impetus to digitalization (first of all, the accelerated introduction of methods of digital control over society). Verification of this assumption led to the conclusion that in reality only the Chinese authorities have successfully implemented this practice, while in other countries (even the eastern ones) there are still more costs than results. According to another hypothesis, international legal regulation aimed at combating the pandemic is generally not very effective. This is due not so much to its imperfection, but to the following two reasons. First, national states, including those belonging to the continental European tradition (for example, Russia), at the level of legislation to combat the pandemic, simply ignored the coordinate system set by international documents. Secondly, these states copied the experience of the countries of the Asia-Pacific region (first of all China, and primarily in the field of digitalization), since these countries actually demonstrated the greatest effectiveness in combating the epidemic.

Keywordspandemic, coronavirus factor, legal framework, development trends, globalization, digitalization, transformational crisis, international legal consequences
Publication date28.06.2021
Number of characters42508
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