ON THE COVER
Politics and economics are inextricably linked, and we see this relationship play out
in our daily lives all the time. Illustrator John Cuneo’s June 2020 cover shows the
intersection of politics, special interests, and economics in the time of coronavirus.
FIVE MONTHS AGO
we set out to write about political economy in this
issue—how politics a ects the economy and the economy aects politics.
Few suspected then that, instead of exploring an academ ic question, we
would be witnessing real-world political economy dyna mics unfolding,
tragical ly, in real time. e pandemic, with its appal ling loss of life, has
brought the Great Lockdown and froz en the wheels of commerce. People’s
lives have been turned upside down, punctuated by f urloughs, face masks,
and fear. While th is health crisis reoriented our focus, the issue of political
economy is more relevant than ever. It underscores the notion that policies
are inuenced not just by economic analy sis but also by noneconomic,
social, and political force s. And it compels us to think about how people
and the economy will adjust in a post-pandemic world.
is issue features d iverse articles through the lens of COVID-19. Je
Frieden, Andrés Velasco, and others exam ine the importance of institutions,
identity, and trust. Antoinette Sayeh weighs polic y solutions as this crisis
robs millions of migrants of work opportunities, slashing remittances,
the single most important ow of income for many poor countr ies. Other
articles disc uss the need for social cohesion and solidarity, with policies that
protect and lift the most v ulnerable as jobs disappear and inequities deep en.
Managing t he eects of the pandemic forces a real disc ussion of how best
to implement the policy response to reach all se gments of the population.
To a large extent, economic policy will shape society’s resilience to the
emergency and its aftermath.
But a crisis of this scale is a g lobal turning point, forcing economists and
others to expand their ima gination and experiment with radical new ide as
about how the world works. Such a reimagining, a s Kristal ina Georgieva
notes in her essay, could lead us to a greener, digitally smar ter, fairer, and
more compassionate world. Perhaps this is a chance to reset the f unda-
mentals of our social and ec onomic life.
GITA BHATT, editor-in-chief
2 FINANCE & DEVELOPMENT | June 2020
FINANCE & DEVELOPMENT
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