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The Pandemic Will Accelerate History Rather Than Reshape It

The Pandemic Will Accelerate History Rather Than Reshape It

We are going through what by every measure is a great crisis, so it is natural to assume that it will prove to be a turning point in modern history. In the months since the appearance of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, analysts have differed over the type of world the pandemic will leave in its wake. But most argue that the world we are entering will be fundamentally different from what existed before. Some predict the pandemic will bring about a new world order led by China; others believe it will trigger the demise of China’s leadership. Some say it will end...

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Apr 7, 2020
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The U.S. and China Could Cooperate to Defeat the Pandemic

The U.S. and China Could Cooperate to Defeat the Pandemic

Infectious diseases typically generate opportunities for international cooperation. During the Cold War era, scientists in the former Soviet Union and the United States jointly developed and improved a polio vaccine. The same spirit of cooperation animated the U.S.-Chinese response to the SARS outbreak of 2003. In September 2005, the presidents of the two countries “Ten Core Principles” of global pandemic response, which were later supported by 88 nations and agencies. On May 6, 2009, President Hu Jintao of China personally U.S. President Barack Obama to express his “sincere condolences”...

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foreignaffairs
Mar 24, 2020
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The Real Pandemic Danger Is Social Collapse

The Real Pandemic Danger Is Social Collapse

As of March 2020, the entire world is affected by an evil with which it is incapable of dealing effectively and regarding whose duration no one can make any serious predictions. The economic repercussions of the novel coronavirus pandemic must not be understood as an ordinary problem that macroeconomics can solve or alleviate. Rather, the world could be witnessing a fundamental shift in the very nature of the global economy.The immediate crisis is one of both supply and demand. Supply is falling because companies are closing down or reducing their workloads to protect workers from...

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foreignaffairs
Mar 19, 2020
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The Coronavirus Threatens Saudi Arabia’s Global Ambitions

The Coronavirus Threatens Saudi Arabia’s Global Ambitions

In late February, Saudi Arabia abruptly suspended all visas for umrah, the year-round pilgrimage to Mecca, the holiest city in Islam. Umrah is less important than the hajj, a pilgrimage that happens in the last month of the lunar year and is required of all able-bodied Muslims at least once in their lives, but it still draws nearly eight million annual visitors.Today, the kingdom’s two holy cities, Mecca and Medina—which give the Saudi king his royal title, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques—are on total lockdown. Even Saudi citizens are banned from visiting as pilgrims. Saudi authorities...

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foreignaffairs
Apr 15
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The Pandemic and the Toll of Transatlantic Discord

The Pandemic and the Toll of Transatlantic Discord

As if anyone needed another reminder of fraying transatlantic ties, the novel coronavirus pandemic has made abundantly clear just how bad relations between the United States and Europe have become. After years of —over defense spending, trade, and much more—divergent national responses to this latest crisis have brought new sources of tension and complaint. In the face of medical-supply shortages, both the United States and Europe have turned inward. Washington ordered the to halt its exports of N95 masks and to reroute its overseas production to the United States as part of a broader...

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Zhang Chen Xinhua / eyevine / Redux
Apr 18
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How America’s Urban-Rural Divide Has Shaped the Pandemic

How America’s Urban-Rural Divide Has Shaped the Pandemic

The response to the novel coronavirus pandemic in the United States has been delayed and disjointed for many reasons. Perhaps one of the most pernicious factors has been the quick evolution of the pandemic into a partisan issue. By early March, a split had emerged among elected officials, influential media personalities, and ordinary voters: many Democrats came to view the virus as an existential threat, whereas Republicans tended to perceive and portray the concerns of public health officials as dramatically overblown. Although partisan finger-pointing about the effectiveness of government...

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Reuters / Alyson McClaran
Apr 20
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China’s Coronavirus Information Offensive

China’s Coronavirus Information Offensive

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Djordje Kojadinovic / Reuters
Apr 22
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Do Pandemics Promote Peace?

Do Pandemics Promote Peace?

As the novel coronavirus infects the globe, states compete for scientific and medical supplies and blame one another for the pandemic’s spread. Policy analysts have started asking whether such tensions could eventually erupt into military conflict. Has the pandemic increased or decreased the motive and opportunity of states to wage war?War is a risky business, with potentially very high costs. The historian Geoffrey Blainey argued in The Causes of War that most wars share a common characteristic at their outset: optimism. The belligerents usually start out sanguine about their odds of...

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Marko Djurica / Reuters
Apr 23
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In Defense of the Blob

In Defense of the Blob

The foreign policy establishment has seen better days. During the Obama administration, Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes derided it as “,” mocking its stodgy hawkishness. Then Republicans joined the chorus, with the Trump administration declaring war on mainstream foreign policy and national security professionals and the president dismissing critics as “the failed Washington elite looking to hold onto their power.” On this issue, moreover, even some of Trump’s harshest critics in the academy agree with him.American foreign policy, , has been controlled by a privileged cabal bent...

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Pete Souza / White House / Reuters
Apr 29
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“America First” Is a Dangerous Fantasy in a Pandemic

“America First” Is a Dangerous Fantasy in a Pandemic

It should come as no surprise that the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump, whose foreign policy doctrine is called “America first,” vastly underestimated the importance to U.S. security of defeating the novel coronavirus pandemic abroad. Trump was slow to recognize that the United States could not seal itself off from the virus: on February 26, the president predicted that the number of infected Americans would soon go down “,” while the White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow insisted that the United States had “contained” the threat because its borders were “.” Commerce...

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foreignaffairs
Apr 4, 2020
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Jim Mattis

Jim Mattis

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Yascha Mounk

Yascha Mounk

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Abubaker Lubowa / Reuters

Abubaker Lubowa / Reuters

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Adam Schiff

Adam Schiff

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Adam Segal

Adam Segal

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Adrees Latif / reuters

Adrees Latif / reuters

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Alexander Vindman

Alexander Vindman

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Alina Polyakova

Alina Polyakova

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Aly Song / Reuters

Aly Song / Reuters

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Amanda Mustard / Redux

Amanda Mustard / Redux

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Amir Cohen / Reuters

Amir Cohen / Reuters

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and Alex Pascal

and Alex Pascal

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and Anne-Marie Slaughter

and Anne-Marie Slaughter

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and Ashish Goel

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and Dan Collini

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and Heidi Urben

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and Jake Schmidt

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and Joe Felter

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and Jordan Tama

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