UDC 327:[616-036.21: 578.834
Biblid: 0025-8555, 73(2021)
Vol. 73, No 1, pp. 39-57
DOI: https://doi.org/10.2298/MEDJP2101039T

Оriginal article
Received: 03 Feb 2021
Accepted: 08 Mar 2021


TRAPARA Vladimir (Naučni saradnik u Institutu za međunarodnu politiku i privredu, Beograd), vtrapara@diplomacy.bg.ac.rs

The paper deals with the relation between the concept of entropy in international relations and the influence of the coronavirus pandemic upon them. In many ways, the coronavirus pandemic is an unprecedented event in contemporary history, but the corona age only confirms the already present trend of chaos and unpredictability in post-Cold War international relations, which Randall Schweller explained by the concept of entropy – the tendency of the rise in the disorder of every closed system. The goal of the paper is to consider this concept and revisit it by an assessment of how the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on international relations fits into it. Starting from Schweller’s observation that, in the past, hegemonic wars were the primary mechanism of containing entropy in the international system, along with his prediction that some natural catastrophe could have a certain impact in that direction in the future, the author departs with this research question: Could the coronavirus pandemic bring a reduction of entropy in the post-corona age, or will it only deepen the trend of entropy? Confirming the latter, the author finds the explanation for the resilience of entropy in the absence of balance of power in the contemporary international system – which is opposed to Schweller’s expectation that only hegemony can contain entropy. The conclusion is that the great powers in the post-corona age should consciously work on restoring and maintaining a balance of power if they want to make the system more resilient to some next global catastrophe.

Keywords: pandemic, coronavirus, entropy, Randall Schweller, hegemony, the balance of power, international relations