Lasting Effects of COVID-19 on States and Societies
No. 2 2020 April/June
DOI: 10.31278/1810-6374-2020-18-2-41-42
J.Scott Carpenter

Jigsaw, Alphabet Inc, Washington, D.C.

Managing Director






The COVID-19 pandemic will permanently change our societies predominantly by accelerating changes that were already underway. This will happen in ways large and small, and many will be positive, but not all.

First the positive. Already universities which had resisted moving to online courses for fear of losing their core differentiator—a campus esprit du corps—have been forced to go online. Those that do not successfully make the transition will be disadvantaged going forward. Those companies that urged their employees to work from home will accelerate the adoption of distributed working and prove that working from home can be extremely productive. This will provide individuals much more flexibility in how they work. All those government services that were not available online will become so. Notary services in New York City, for example, will now be available virtually. That should have happened ten years ago!

The fact that everyone now is Zooming, Skyping and Meeting virtually, a phenomenon that was trending upwards, has now grown exponentially. This, too, is a trend of social interaction that will deepen within all societies, easing loneliness, especially among the elderly and those who live alone in large cities around the world.

Facetime, Hangouts, among others, will have been normalized as people use them together for cocktail hour. Interestingly, my church is broadcasting its service on Facebook Live. On a typical Sunday we would have 300+ attend physically. Online we had close to 15,000! 

But as this technical supplement becomes a substitute there will also be downsides. Despite the technical tools that exist to draw us closer together, the result of “social distancing” will apply to countries as well. In the West, the pandemic will reinforce an already deepening sense that “globalization” is a bug, not a feature. Businesses that will be able to restart after the crisis—and there will be fewer of them—will loathe to replicate their exposure to supply-chain disruptions. And those countries that have closed borders may keep them closed for longer than clinically necessary. Fear of travel will deepen in the U.S.

Race to the bottom strategies being pursued by Russia and Saudi Arabia in the oil market may be deployed in other markets as well (pharmaceuticals, for example), which would threaten not just a particular country’s competitors (the U.S. fracking industry, in this case), but the health of the country. All of this could also end up in imperiling the dollar’s dominance globally. These factors will put increasing pressure on an already strained U.S.-China relationship.

Finally, in democracies, the COVID-19 pandemic will shift the Overton window to the right. It is clear that governments already want access to more privacy-invading tools to respond to these sorts of crises, seeing what Asian democracies—and the PRC—were able to do with them. And citizens will support these efforts. This may well be the most lasting effect of COVID-19 in our technically advanced democracies—their further erosion.

Europe Must Rise to the Challenge
Nathalie Tocci
As the coronavirus vindicates, exacerbates and accelerates many of the global trends that we have seen in slow-motion in recent years, Europe must rise to the challenge if it is truly determined to protect its citizens and the values of a rules-based multilateral system.
The Doors Exist
Fyodor A. Lukyanov
DOI: 10.31278/1810-6374-2020-18-2-5-8
International Institutions and the Challenge of the “First Pandemic War”
Timofei V. Bordachev
DOI: 10.31278/1810-6374-2020-18-2-10-14
The Coronavirus Holds Up a Mirror to Existing Societies: What Will They See?
Anatol Lieven
DOI: 10.31278/1810-6374-2020-18-2-15-18
International Life after the Pandemic
Maxim V. Bratersky
DOI: 10.31278/1810-6374-2020-18-2-19-25
The Coronavirus: Biopolitics and the Rise of ‘Anthropocene Authoritarianism’
David Chandler
DOI: 10.31278/1810-6374-2020-18-2-26-32
The Pandemic: First Social Aftereffects and Prospects
Alexander F. Filippov
DOI: 10.31278/1810-6374-2020-18-2-33-40
Lasting Effects of COVID-19 on States and Societies
J.Scott Carpenter
DOI: 10.31278/1810-6374-2020-18-2-41-42
Coronavirus and the Future of a Welfare State
Oksana V. Sinyavskaya
DOI: 10.31278/1810-6374-2020-18-2-43-47
An Invisible Global Revolution
Vlad Ivanenko
DOI: 10.31278/1810-6374-2020-18-2-48-53
The World Order in the Post-Coronavirus Era
Mehdi Sanaei
DOI: 10.31278/1810-6374-2020-18-2-54-59
Learning from the Covid-19 Epidemic
Peter Rutland
DOI: 10.31278/1810-6374-2020-18-2-60-61
Europe Must Rise to the Challenge
Nathalie Tocci
DOI: 10.31278/1810-6374-2020-18-2-62-64
Imperialism and the Rise of Populism
Rein Müllerson
DOI: 10.31278/1810-6374-2020-18-2-66-89
Nation, Empire-State and Nation-State: Beyond Usual Misinterpretations
Alexei I. Miller
DOI: 10.31278/1810-6374-2020-18-2-90-107
The Empire and the Nation in the 20th Century
Aleksandr A. Vershinin
DOI: 10.31278/1810-6374-2020-18-2-108-131
Neo-Modernity: A New Framework for Political Reality
Vasily A. Kuznetsov
DOI: 10.31278/1810-6374-2020-18-2-132-154
The 1945 Turkish-Soviet Crisis
Behlül Özkan
DOI: 10.31278/1810-6374-2020-18-2-156-187
China’s Concept of Military Security
Alexey S. Stepanov
DOI: 10.31278/1810-6374-2020-18-2-188-216
Avenues for a Way-Out from Russia-EU Stalemate
Victor Bulmer-Thomas
DOI: 10.31278/1810-6374-2020-18-2-218-220