CIPSPOD · Jacqueline Best and Randall Germain | Political Economy in Times of COVID-19 Pandemic


The COVID-19 pandemic has radically and rapidly transformed our lives.

It’s killed tens of thousands around the world, while the number of confirmed infections is in the millions.

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development has confirmed that all major economies have now entered a recession.

Further, according to the International Labour Organisation, the pandemic is expected to wipe out the equivalent of nearly 200 million jobs worldwide as more than 4/5 of workers around the world are now in countries affected by some measure of lockdown.

Workers in the informal sector – nearly 2/3 of the world’s labour force- are hardest hit and require income support just to survive.

By the end of March, nearly 1 million Canadians applied for Employment Insurance in one week – representing nearly 5% of the workforce and a new record. Similarly, record-breaking job losses are a reality across all five continents, while governments spend – or are promising to spend – truly eye-watering amounts of cash in an attempt to stop the bottom entirely falling out of our national and world economies.

To try and get a grip on what this means in this podcast, CIPS’ blog editor, Philip Leech-Ngo, talks to two of the foremost experts in Canada’s political economy, CIPS’ own professor Jacqueline Best and Carleton University’s professor Randall Germain.