№15. New reality 2020: Digitalization and the figth against COVID-19

This issue of the journal was not planned in advance — 2020 has changed many plans. This journal is an attempt to answer the question — what kind of world are we in and how do we live in it? In a world where all countries and peoples are facing the same challenges: the COVID-19 pandemic, the extreme burden on the health system, the decline in economic growth, the increase in the number of unemployed people, the closure of universities and schools, the transition of the education system to a digital format, the growth of digital services and platforms, etc. To discuss these issues, many expert centers have held scientific discussions this year. And our magazine became one of the organizers of the international online conference “NEW DIGITAL REALITY: science and education, law, security, economics and finance” (July 6–11, 2020). The conference was attended by representatives of scientific and educational centers of 16 countries. Articles of some conference participants are presented in this issue of the journal. We thank all participants and coorganizers of the conference, especially the scientific journal “Global Processes” for their assistance in building bridges between peoples, countries and continents.

This issue also includes articles and ex- pert reports that were prepared based on the results of the following international online conferences: “COVID-19: Global Impact” (15–19 June 2020, main organizers by ADMIS Consultancy Ltd and Center of Socio-Cultural Initiatives), “Educational Quality and its need today” (12 July 2020, organizers by Logos University and Unilo- gos Educational Group), “Education, Soci- ety, and Global Challenges” (29–31 August 2020, organized by Lalit Narayan Mithila University).

We hope that scientific discussions in online format will allow the world to get out of the crisis faster. Moreover, we believe that scientists today are not only discoverers and producers of new knowledge, but also excellent diplomats, since international relations of scientists allow not only to develop science, but also contribute to international cooperation in political, cultural and economic projects, as well as in the field of environmental protection. Scientific diplomacy is what is needed to solve the problems that humanity has accumulated by the twenty first century.

Digital and scientific diplomacy should help to maintain a constructive mood and prevent the spread of all sorts of rumors and panic. International scientific conferences in online mode are one of the forms of such diplomacy.

The future of humanity is connected with the achievements of science — with new technologies. We hope that artificial intelligence, supercomputers, robotics, synthetic biology and other advances in science and technology will allow us to solve the problems of individual countries and humanity as a whole more quickly and with the least loss to humans. For example, futurist Kirill Ignatiev believes that in the future a person will receive an individual vaccine tested on his digital counterpart. And therefore the victory with such threats as COVID-19 will be very fast, it will not require isolation, closing of economies and borders.

But even now, the scientific potential of humanity shows that COVID-19 will be defeated. For example, two coronavirus vaccines are currently being registered in Russia. The world’s first COVID-19 vac- cine, Sputnik V, was created at the National Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology named after Honorary Academician N.F. Gamaleya (Moscow). The second has been developed in the State Research Center of Virology and Biotechnology VECTOR (Novosibirsk) and is called the EpiVakCorona. The third vaccine is on the way, which is being developed by specialists of the Chumakov Federal Scientific Center for Research and Development of Immune-and-Biological Products of Russian Academy of Sciences (Moscow). Of course, research centers in other countries are also developing medicines and vaccines, e.g.: the pharmaceutical company Pfizer and the biotechnology company Moderna, both located in the United States, are already completing clinical trials of the vaccine. The Chinese Academy of military medical Sciences and the Chinese biotechnology company Can- Sino Biologics have developed a vaccine. The British-Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca may resume testing a coronavirus vaccine in October-November 2020. Of course, these are not all scientific and pharmaceutical companies that develop vaccines. From our part, we wish all researchers to create an effective vaccine for the health of all the Earth inhabitants.

But science needs further develop- ment, especially in terms of reducing the time to decode the genome and develop vaccines. This is extremely difficult for scientists to achieve only within one state. This is why we believe that cooperation between scientists and scientific diplo- macy is the basis for healthy, peaceful and sustainable development of individual countries and the entire world.

Our journal will continue to support scientific diplomacy — we will hold conferences and publish research by authors from various countries in Russian, English and other languages. Cultural diversity is an achievement of human development, and we will do our best to support the dialogue of scientists and political scientists who represent different countries and cultures. Only through dialogue and cooperation can modern crises and conflicts be overcome.

This journal publishes articles by authors who represent scientific and educational centers, as well as public organizations in Austria, Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, UK, India, Kazakhstan, Russia, Serbia, the United States and Switzerland.
The authors in their articles touched upon many topical and controversial issues. Scientific diplomacy and digital diplomacy are now subject to careful analysis. The authors, professors Zoran Vitorovic and Veronika Wittmann, as well as associate Professor Natalia M. Moro- zova, write about these aspects (scientific and digital) of diplomacy in their articles.

For those interested in the development of digital education and the future of education, a joint article by professors Zoran Vitorovic and Hatidza Berisa will be interesting. On the topic of education, the journal also published an article by Professor Arbind Kumar Jha, who described the most important initiatives of India in the field of digital transformation of higher education. The experience of India is very useful, as many countries have stepped up the process of digitalization of higher education in 2020. For example, in Russia, the Ministry of science and higher education has launched a program to support the digitalization of universities.

Digitalization is not only a technological issue, but also a philosophical and value issue. Therefore, the article by associate Professor Rafail Nasyrov is an attempt to answer the question — how much does a person remain a person in the digital era? Does digitalization really increase human- ism in modern society or not? And this is not only a question, but also a certain requirement for the digitalization of society. During digital transformation, it is necessary not to lose a person. Perhaps we will say trite words, but digitalization should be for a person, not a person for digitalization. And this demand should be heard by digital corporations and government agencies.

The digitalization process also raises another problem that is increasingly being called the digital divide — this is manifested in the fact that not all residents have access to digital services, not all have personal computers or smart phones, and not all have a stable and high-speed Internet. According to a study of DIGITAL USE AROUND THE WORLD IN JULY 20201, nearly 70 percent of the total population in Northern America uses social media to- day, compared to just 7 percent in Middle Africa. And this difference in numbers indicates different rates of digitalization at the global level. We can also observe the digital divide within a single state if, for example, we compare digitalization in cities and villages. It is about the digital divide that Professor Jagdish Khatri writes in his article.

Another question that users of the digital world ask is how can a person in the digital space not lose their rights and freedoms? This is the question that the young author Yulia Pechatnova answers in her research. We ask readers to pay attention to the thesis that Julia notes in her article — the increase in productivity and availability of computing power of artificial intelligence, as well as a huge array of per- sonal information available on the Internet, make it technically possible to deanonymize even carefully depersonalized data.

Of course, the digital world is not only a digital Paradise, but also a huge risk of total control. And how to overcome this problem can only be solved together by political scientists, lawyers and IT specialists. We believe that the solution to this problem requires international, interdisciplinary scientific colaborate.

2020 is not only a year of fighting the pandemic and increasing digitalization, but also a significant downturn in the economy. The IMF estimates global growth is projected at –4.4 percent in 20202. Read the article by Professor Tatul N. Manaseryan about how this decline will affect political and social processes. Read the article by associate Professor Ulagan B. Yusupov about digitalization of financial relations.

The journal also contains articles about political processes in certain countries and regions. Tatiana Vorotnikova, academic secretary Institute for Latin America of Russian Academy of Sciences in her article analyzes the political process in Ecuador. Researcher at the University of Delhi (India) Shivani Rai, a true patriot of his country, describes the features of the conflict that arose between India and China in 2020. Recall that this year there was the largest clash in half a century between the military of India and China — on June 15 in the Himalayas, in the Ladakh valley. Border guards of the two countries beat each other with stones and sticks. There were some casualties. India and China are countries with nuclear weapons and this conflict must be resolved only by peaceful means. Comment to the article published by a researcher from Russia Larisa Smirnova. To help establish a dialogue between researchers and political scientists in India and China, we are ready to give Chinese and India authors a place in the journal to present their position on the conflict and find ways out of the conflict. For our part, we note that no disputed territories can be an excuse for violence and murder. And the same approach should be taken when resolving the military conflict that has re-emerged between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

In the journal, we try to publish not only reputable political scientists, but also young authors who are beginning their research path.

Novice political scientist Maxim La- mash in his article examines US policy in the field of space development. Space is an area where there is cooperation between different countries. The article focuses on the leading role of the United States in space. But it is also noted that the United States cooperates in this area with Russia, the EU, Japan and India. Without belittling the role of all countries in space exploration, for our part, we note that the USSR (and now Russia) made a huge contribution to space exploration — this is the launch of the first Earth satellite1, sending the first animals (dogs) into space and landing on Earth2 , as well as the launch of the first man into space3. Space is an area where humanity and scientists work and can work together. The international space station is an example of successful global scientific cooperation.

Another study by a young author, Oleg Kononenko from Moscow University, addresses the problem of modern democracy. The political scientist argues that elections cannot be the only institution that makes the government representative and accountable, so additional funds are needed. And we agree with the author’s conclusion that political science should look for forms and methods that would help today’s democracies, in addition to elections, to form legislative and executive bodies that are accountable to society. Clearly, elections alone are not enough. And this is a task for modern political science.

COVID-19 is a global problem, but terrorism is no less a problem. Moreover, current problems and crises can provoke a new wave of illegal emigration and increase the risk of terrorism. Anna N. Kamenskikh, a young political scientist from Saint Petersburg University, examines the problem of terrorism in the context of illegal migration in her article.

It can be stated that in all articles and expert discussions, the following is a red line: the world after the events of 2020 will not be the same, and in the new world, it is necessary to consolidate world communication to solve both global and local crises and conflicts.

Confrontation at the global level only exacerbates crises and does not create a safer and more prosperous world.

With respect,
Andrey Gorokhov, Editor-in-chief «Русская политология — Russian Political Science» editor-in-chief of Russian political Science, PhD in Political Science

The journal is published with the support of the Autonomous non-profit organization “Labora- tory of Humanitarian Projects”, The Center for Scientific Diplomacy of the Russian Association of Crypto Industry, Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain, and the company Joys Digital

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