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The dichotomy between international relations and international law in the face of the global COVID-19 pandemic

Omodele Adeyemi


In addressing global issues, international relations and international law have always worked together since time immemorial. The nexus between both fields has however not flowed seamlessly or naturally. The nexus seems to be changing and needs a re-conceptualization within the global system especially with the nature of the threat posed by new pandemics such as the Corona Virus otherwise called the COVID - 19. With the emergence of COVID - 19 pandemic, strains are gradually increasing between international relations and international law such that despite consistent scholarly attention on the fields, their points of connection, both seems not to have engaged in a coherent international intercourse and coordination especially as regards to the efforts aimed at effective identification, control and prevention of the disease. This is surprising, given the marginal place of international relations and international law in global epidemiology. This paper is based on qualitative research. The theory adopted was collective security theory in international relations (liberalism). Collective security is a system by which states have attempted to prevent or stop wars through international treaties and conventions. International relations, international law and COVID - 19 were discussed on separate headings given details to each. It provides an outline of the convergence and dichotomy between both fields in the control of the COVID - 19 pandemic and explicated the ways we can build on the strengths of both fields and overcome inherent contextual dissimilarities with a view to having a global peaceful medical environment. The concluding part of the paper dealt with how to jointly curtail the pandemic globally.

Keywords: “International Relations”, “International Law”, “Pandemics”, “COVID-19”, “Death”, “World War

Journal Identifiers

print ISSN: 2276-7371