Foreign Policy Magazine

AFTER THE CORONAVIRUS

ONE YEAR AFTER COVID-19 BEGAN ITS RELENTLESS SPREAD across the world, the contours of a global order reshaped by the pandemic are slowly starting to emerge. This much we know: Just as the virus has shattered lives, disrupted economies, and changed election outcomes, it will lead to permanent shifts in political and economic power both within and among countries. To help us make sense of these shifts as the crisis enters a new phase, FOREIGN POLICY asked 12 leading thinkers from around the world to weigh in with their predictions for the global order after the pandemic.

A Time for Leadership

by JOHN R. ALLEN

FEW, IF ANY, TRUE WINNERS will emerge from this global health crisis—not because the disease was beyond our control but because most countries failed to exert the leadership and societal self-discipline necessary to bring it under control until a vaccine became available.

COVID-19 has fast become one of the ultimate stressors on our already fragile international system, exposing vulnerabilities, magnifying weaknesses, and exacerbating long-festering issues. At the most basic level, this difficult moment has highlighted just how ill-equipped our global health systems are, forcing many countries to make devastating ethical decisions to determine who among their citizenry is most deserving to receive medical care. Furthermore, rather than build a renewed global coalition to fight this awful disease, many countries have instead relied on isolationist policies. This has resulted in piecemeal, ineffectual responses as cases once again spike wildly all over the world, the United States being one of the worst examples.

In truth, COVID-19 represents a complex series of interconnected transnational problems that demand leader-driven, multilateral solutions. To address issues such as systemic racism, climate change, and the need for a global economic recovery, it is truly imperative that we seek to strengthen, not weaken, our shared international order. While science will ultimately save us, there

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