In commemoration of the 75th Independence Day of the Republic of Indonesia, UGM Faculty of Social and Political Sciences, in collaboration with UGM Press published the book of New Normal: Post-Covid-19 Socio-Economic and Political Change launched on August 17, 2020. The book edited by Dr. Wawan Mas’udi and Dr. Poppy Sulistyaning Winanti consisted of 18 chapters. Twenty-four academics from UGM and outside UGM who are experts in social sciences, politics, policy, health, creative economy, and psychology wrote the book’s substances.
Poppy Sulistyaning Winanti said the term new normal appeared as a compromise term. This book tries to offer a comprehensive study of the conditions and new normal situations from the many debates of terms to social acceptance of the COVID-19 pandemic crisis.
“New normal or also known as new habit adaptation is an important term used by WHO and governments in various countries to try to make peace with the Covid-19 outbreak,” he said, Monday (17/8) during the online launch.
Poppy explained that since the first outbreak in December 2019 until this book written, the Covid-19 pandemic has not ended. The government is still attempting to keep moving the sustainability of the economy, social and public services.
“New normal then becomes the middle way chosen to balance the interests of moving the economy with the need to adapt to health protocols to prevent the spread of Covid-19,” he explained.
He added that the book systematically consists of 5 chapters. The first chapter discusses the new normal perspective debate. Chapter two, new normal, shifting power relations, class consolidation, and inequality with the author of Alm. Prof. Cornelis Lay, and chapter three discuss the new normal as a middle ground? Health vs. Economy and policy alternatives in the Covid-19 pandemic by Prof. Erwan Agus Purwanto and Prof. Ova Emilia.
“From the beginning, the new normal appeared because there was an urge to compromise health and economic needs. From the existing data, several countries are currently undergoing recession due to the pandemic,” said Poppy.
Furthermore, Poppy said, chapter four of this book explores the new normal disruption of civilization and post-pandemic cultural changes by presenting writers, including Siti Murtiningsih. Chapter five discusses the new normal and psychosocial problems with authors, including Hamdi Muluk.
Wawan Mas’udi added that the book of New Normal: Post-COVID-19 Socio-Economic and Political Change is the result of the analysis from many authors. It appraises that Covid-19 has brought changes in various aspects of political and government life, the public service sector, and economic activities. In addition to changes in the sectoral realm, the Covid-19 pandemic also has implications for a paradigm shift in the management of public interests, cultural shifts, and dimensions of individual behavior that have never happened before.
“The authors also believe that the new normal does not merely refer to protocols or new health habits at the individual or organizational level. Deeper than that, the New Normal shows aspects of changes that occur as a result of and in response to the current global pandemic situation,” he explained.
He also added that the changes of habits are a combination of reactive and short-term ones as a prerequisite for normalizing life with more fundamental changes and long-term, and as new elements to respond to a pandemic.
“Pandemic is not a kind of a new thing, the New Normal has more dimensions than just an adaptation of health protocols, but a New Normal as a form of change and as an impact of a crisis,” he explained.
Dean of the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences UGM, Prof. Dr. Erwan Agus Purwanto, M. Si., welcomed the launch of this book. According to him, the purpose of publishing this book is to understand what will happen after the world was hit by the Covid-19 pandemic six months ago. The government and the world community are trying to overcome this Covid-19.
“A summary of the appropriate response that the government has made through policies, including in the health sector, doctors and medical personnel to respond to Covid-19 has been written in the first book entitled Covid-19 Governance, which was launched three months ago,” he said.
Erwan revealed that with the progress of research by world experts in controlling the coronavirus, several countries began to decrease the number of positive sufferers of Covid-19. Therefore, several countries have begun to open up and allow some of their citizens to move.
“This is what WHO calls as the New Normal, keeps hanging on; we strive to live a life ‘after-pandemic.’ New Normal is either applied in Indonesia, although there are variations of cases, some areas the number of positive sufferers has decreased, and some have increased because of the vastness of Indonesia,” he added.
The Head of UGM Publishing and Publication Agency, Widodo, M.Sc., Ph.D., stated that the UGM Faculty of Social and Political Sciences was extraordinary within four months of publishing two books related to Covid-19. He admitted that today’s information system could move expeditiously to publish books within three months.
“The first book in early May 2020 was about Covid-19 Governance. The second book, which is launched today, hopefully, will benefit the public, especially public policymakers, where several countries are currently enduring recession due to Covid-19. Anyone can access books because the first is in digital form,” he explained.
The book launching of the New Normal: Post-COVID-19 Socio-Economic and Political Change presented several responders. They are Medelina K. Hendytio, Deputy Executive Director of CSIS, Velix V. Wanggai, Director of Disadvantaged Regions, Transmigration and Rural Development of Bappenas and Jaleswari Pramodhawardhani from the Presidential Staff office.
Author: Agung Nugroho
Translator: Natasa A