Globalization is a multifaceted concept that describes the process of creating networks of connections around the world. It involves the interdependence of national economies and the integration of information, goods, labor and capital, to name a few. In recent years, globalization has been the subject of growing discontent and criticism. The backlash represents a major setback to the pace of globalization and sets the stage for growing protectionism and nationalism around the world. Many criticisms have been political, but the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has introduced new health threats to globalization.

In a sense, the pandemic has illuminated both globalization (a virus went global in a few weeks thanks to globalization and interconnectedness) and deglobalization (the breakdown of international co-operation and the re-emergence of nationalism when it came to personal protective gear, medical devices and vaccines).