SOAS University of London

Timely article on global leadership and epidemic of blindness wins award

9 December 2021

Dr Orly Levy, Reader in International Management, has been awarded the Emerald Literati Award for Outstanding Author Contribution 2021 for a piece on global leadership and the response to COVID-19 written in April 2020.

The article “Global epidemic of blindness” published in Advances in Global Leadership Volume 13 explores why so many global leaders have been “blind” to potentially devastating effects of the coronavirus pandemic.  Dr Levy argues that three factors — the rise of nationalism, the rejection of science and the influence of endemic corruption — have all contributed to global shortsightedness, or rather, an epidemic of blindness.

Dr Levy said: “For more than two decades we have assumed, or rather hoped, that world leaders will develop a global mindset. The coronavirus pandemic, however, has revealed that many world leaders have actually developed a global blindset — a profound inability to see and understand the world from a global perspective.”

Two years into the pandemic, its devastating effects are exceedingly apparent. Nevertheless, Dr Levy suggests that global leaders still fail to “see” that the lack of globally coordinated response, evident for example in vaccine inequity, fuels virus mutations and slows down socio-economic recovery.

The article is part of a collaborative chapter “Perspectives on global leadership and the COVID-19 crisis” written by global leaders, practitioners, and global leadership scholars. It available to view for free for 12 months – an abridged version is available on SOAS blogs.