Coronavirus has knocked the world for six. It has cost many lives while upending our assumptions about public health, security, society and commerce. Fixated as we have been on the grim day-to-day developments, it is still too early to say how it will change our world.

One thing is clear, however. Not even a pandemic can extinguish the ever smoldering embers of international rivalry. Quite the opposite, in fact, as certain rivalries intensify.

Liberal voices have called for nations to unite at this moment of need. Yuval Noah Harari, the Israeli historian and author of Sapiens, warned in March of the world facing a choice between ‘national isolation and global solidarity’, since ‘the epidemic itself and the resulting economic crisis can be solved effectively only by global cooperation.’

Subscribe to read all issues

Articles from the current issue are free to read by all, the archive is exclusive to magazine subscribers and our members. Subscribe or become a member to view articles from the archive.