The ambiguity of the psychological limitations of globalization Or: an uncanny cocktail of viruses


  • Ulrich Sollmann Guest Professor, Shanghai University of Political Science and Law, Beratung und Coaching; Höfestr, Bochum, Germany



Virus crisis, Globalization, Panic, Narcissistic omnipotence, Resilience, Tolerance of ambiguity


The Coronavirus epidemic has become a pandemic. The induced crisis has had a global impact. Moreover, there is an uncontrollable interplay between the coronavirus, panic as an emotional virus, viral communication, and the economic and political borderline experience. The world is facing an unprecedented factual and psychological challenge. People are therefore seeking emotional orientation and protection above all in their own group, family, close friends, and nation. However, this often leads to radical dissociation from other groups or nations. This functions in the sense of a psychological defense as a group and is a normal process during an epidemic. In the past two decades, globalization has focused on boundless performance and efficiency increase. In doing so, it has not sufficiently taken people into account; one could say that globalization does not respect humans as humans. It is in danger of succumbing to a narcissistic fantasy of omnipotence. The current virus crisis is holding up its own mirror to the world. It therefore functions as a psychological disillusionment that seems to have the entire world under control. People and nations feel the limits of what is possible. They experience their powerlessness and fall into a state of panic that seems to paralyze people. There is no doubt that medical, economic, and political action is absolutely necessary. A far greater challenge is to reach people with their very own concerns and needs. This cannot be achieved through political war rhetoric. It can only be done if people and nations become aware of the competence of ambiguity tolerance. This, combined with the development of an experienceable and visible sense of community, strengthens resilience, namely, one's psychological resistance.


Fischer, G., & Riedesser, P. (2009). Lehrbuch der Psychotraumatologie. Stuttgart, Germany: UTB.

Globalization 101. (2020). What Is Globalization? Available from: URL: Accessed 2020.

Graber, R., Pichon, F., & Carabine, E. (2015). Psychological resilience: state of knowledge and future research agendas. London, UK: Overseas Development Institute.

Isaacs, W. (2002). Dialog als Kunst gemeinsam zu denken: die neue Kommunikationskultur für Organisationen. EHP-Organisation. Verlag (Koln), Germany: EHP.

Lianke, Y. (2020). What Happens After Coronavirus? Literary Hub. Available from: URL: Accessed 2020 Mar 11.

Sollmann, U. (2020 a). 11 Millionen Menschen in Quarantäne: In Wuhan ist nichts mehr so, wie es war. Focus. Available from: URL: Accessed 2020 Feb 2.

Sollmann, U. (2020 b). A Deadly Cocktail. Beijing Review. Available from: URL: Accessed 2020 Mar 15.

Spiegel (2020). Wenn die Globalisierung zurtödlichen Gefahr wird. Available from: URL: Accessed 2020 Jan 31.

Zizek, S. (2020). Der Mensch wird nicht mehr derselbe gewesen sein: Das ist die Lektion, die das Coronavirus für uns bereithäl. Neue Zürche Zeitung. Available from: URL: Accessed 2020 Mar 13




How to Cite

Sollmann, U. (2020). The ambiguity of the psychological limitations of globalization Or: an uncanny cocktail of viruses. International Journal of Body, Mind and Culture, 7(1), 8-14.



Theoretical Study(ies)

Most read articles by the same author(s)