Summary of The Pandemic and Political Order

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  • Controversial
  • Eye Opening
  • Visionary

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Political scientist Francis Fukuyama, who once hailed political and economic liberalism as “the end of history,” now seems to acknowledge that, perhaps, humanity’s ideological development is cyclical in nature. COVID-19 is the kind of crisis which reshapes the world, Fukuyama suggests in this Foreign Affairs article. The sweeping socioeconomic effects of the coronavirus pandemic have the power to revive political trends that dominated world history in the past – particularly fascism. Anyone interested in the possible long-term consequences of COVID-19 will want to read Fukuyama’s essay.

About the Author

Francis Fukuyama is Olivier Nomellini Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University and the author of Identity: The Demand for Dignity and the Politics of Resentment.

 

Summary

COVID-19 is a watershed moment in world history which will have long-term consequences for individual countries and the international order.

Historians trace World War II, as well as the New Deal and the rise of the United States as a global superpower, back to the Great Depression. Like that major international crisis, COVID-19 will have long-term, global repercussions and affect the course of world history. The pandemic will likely reinforce certain trends that predate its inception – and these trends offer a glimpse of what the future may hold.

Due to its highly contagious nature, the virus is likely to linger and affect economies for years to come. Small businesses and certain sectors such as brick-and-mortar retail and travel will suffer the most. The crisis will accelerate market concentration in the United States, as only large companies have the resources to survive a prolonged economic downturn. America’s technology giants, in particular, will prosper as COVID-19 increases demand for digital services and products. The pandemic’s...


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