The world is always on the brink of calamity, and thus, everyone constantly searches for security. If we look back throughout the history of humankind, we find a series of threats that endanger our lives. Wars, famines, massacres, colonialism, pandemics, and so on, were constantly lingering our existence as a society. Or, in the words of Indonesia’s first president Soekarno: we are in “the years of living dangerously” (Vivere Pericoloso).

Today, with the threat of COVID-19 still lingering, the history is repeated. We found that the other threats also surge in the middle of this devastating pandemic that changes our lives. The tensions between great powers in the South China Sea and Ukraine’s border, the global battle against climate change, cyber warfare, the problems of populism, racism, religious sectarianism to the economic recession are some of our significant challenges in recent years.

However, the recent challenges in the global sphere also bring out many opportunities that we can grasp. For example, the pandemic opens up the path to modernize and reform our health policies while also incentivizing the improvement of global health cooperation. The development of internet technology manages to keep our communication with others even when the pandemic is at its peak. The booming of the digital economy gives us the option to enhance the development of the global economy. In conclusion, humankind is still developing its capabilities to utilize these opportunities and adapt to the challenges.

The aforementioned facts show us that humankind should navigate its path between these challenges and opportunities to continue its path in the future. The new issues will arise and the new perspectives to guide our understanding. As noted by historian Adam Tooze, the recent events are “.. a comprehensive crisis of the neoliberal era — with regard to its environmental envelope, its domestic social, economic and political underpinnings, and the international order — helps us find our historical bearings”.[1]

The pandemic crisis intersects and potentially triggers the other crisis, especially in the economy, international politics, social, and many other aspects of human civilization. Thus, we should be aware that this multiplier effect needs a lot of effort to be understood and solved. We need a collaborative effort to reflect and thus, create a possible path to navigate the solution over these dangerous years. In short, we need an academic forum to share our knowledge and experience in regard to the aforementioned goals.

To enrich our perspectives about various issues during the global pandemic, Parahyangan Center for International Studies (PACIS), as part of the Department of International Relations, Parahyangan Catholic University, will hold the 3rd Biennial International Conference on International Relations (ICON-IR) on the topic of “Navigating Through the Years of Living Dangerously: New Issues and Perspectives.”


[1] Adam Tooze, ”Shutdowns: How Covid Shook the World Economy” (New York: Viking, 2021), p. 34.