Briefing Paper

Building on “New Reputations”

Reputation, a key concept, if any, is an indicator of the esteem granted to a natural person but also to a company or a state entity. Consisting of a sum of perceptions, it is the overall outcome of a set of images, appreciations of actions and behaviors. Thus, the good reputation of a government is determined and measured by its ability to cope with the hardships that the country is going through, to face the upheavals that shake it and to manage the end of crises. At the level of international relations – especially in this phase of advanced globalization – a country’s reputation gives an image of its ability to be recognized within its region, and even beyond, and to adapt to the upheavals of globalization. In view of its magnitude, the Covid-19 crisis, which occurred at the end of the second decade of the century, reflects the vulnerability of this globalization. Coming after the geopolitical shock of September 11, 2001, and the economic crisis of 2008, it has unveiled the uncertainty and unpredictability of today’s world, which has now become a reality. It has also compelled public authorities to choose to save human lives – imposing the confinement of more than 4 billion people – at the expense of the economy, which has collapsed, and that we must now help to recover. As a result, governments are today active on several fronts at the same time: the health front alongside the requirements of social protection for all, and the economic front to boost the machine. Hence, all countries, regardless of their level of development or the way their political and economic systems function, have been dumbfounded. The Covid-19 crisis thus signals a breach, if not a divide, in the evolution of the world. The world of tomorrow will
undoubtedly be different from the pre-Coronavirus world.