Student Spotlight

We're highlighting JGI students and their works on foreign affairs, providing an opportunity to develop professional writing skills.

All For One & None For All: Vaccine Nationalism by Paola Ricaurte
The global race for a COVID-19 vaccine takes a page out of the Hobbesian state of nature. The potential end of the health and economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic pits affluent countries against each other, prioritizing national interests over international cooperation. Health experts agree that in order to save the most lives and slow the transmission rate as much as possible, vaccine access should be prioritized globally to health workers, then people at a higher risk, then areas with high transmissibility, and then everybody else. Still, vaccine nationalism triumphs. Countries continue a “save yourself” approach to COVID-19, competing for prioritized access to a vaccine for health and economic recovery and the bragging rights that follow.

The Impact of Coronavirus on Putin's Power by Daniel Sixto
Rising COVID-19 cases revealed that the Russian people no longer trust their government to manage the global pandemic, possibly leaving a defining imprint on President Vladimir Putin’s legacy. Even after a referendum to reform the Russian constitution passed in July, Putin’s future as President for an additional two terms may be at risk. Russia, the world’s fourth-most affected state by the novel coronavirus, has reached over 1.5 million cases. Meanwhile, Putin hasn’t enforced measures that could prevent a rise in cases. Instead, he failed to supply regional oblasts and republics with supplies to combat the pandemic, hasn’t cared for the financially insecure Russian population, and attempted various power grabs while residing in his home on the outskirts of Moscow. This ineffective response likely changed the public’s perception of the Kremlin, giving rise to protests and historically low approval ratings for Putin.

The Return of Russian Disinformation in the Coronavirus Era by Savina Koda
The COVID-19 pandemic created a U.S. election season like no other, infiltrating the lives of every American and transforming the world into a “new normal”. Concern for the coronavirus has distracted many voters from an enduring problem that dominated the headlines of news outlets during the 2016 election cycle: Russian influence in U.S. elections. Despite its reduced media coverage, the threat persists. Russia will use COVID-related information operations in the upcoming 2020 presidential elections to degrade public trust in the U.S. electoral system and shift the election in favor of Donald Trump.

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