Apocalypse Now? Initial Lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic for the Governance of Existential and Global Catastrophic Risks

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This paper explores the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic through the framework of existential risks – a class of extreme risks that threaten the entire future of humanity. In doing so, we tease out three lessons: (1) possible reasons underlying the limits and shortfalls of international law, international institutions and other actors which Covid-19 has revealed, and what they reveal about the resilience or fragility of institutional frameworks in the face of existential risks; (2) using Covid-19 to test and refine our prior ‘Boring Apocalypses’ model for understanding the interplay of hazards, vulnerabilities and exposures in facilitating a particular disaster, or magnifying its effects; and (3) to extrapolate some possible futures for existential risk scholarship and governance.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of International Humanitarian Legal Studies
Volume11
Issue number1
ISSN1878-1373
Publication statusPublished - 2020

ID: 243910684