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The international system: on Covid and bipolarity

ASPENIA
1 October 2020
Cardboard cutouts of US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping wearing face masks. REUTERS. Cardboard cutouts of US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping wearing face masks. REUTERS.
Covid-19 amplifies trends that undermine the international order. The world was already entering a bipolar system prior to the pandemic, and that future is unchanged: the United States and China will remain the world's superpowers for the foreseeable future.

But the virus does create a strong inward focus among national elites. This, in turn, stokes deglobalization and nationalism, thereby causing decoupling and strengthening different spheres of influence. While Covid may not usher in a completely new world order, it has certainly unleashed forces with important implications for international relations.

This article originally appeared in Aspenia International 89–90, October 2020.
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Eurasia Group Chairman Cliff Kupchan.
Cliff Kupchan is Eurasia Group's chairman, as well as director of research and leader of the firm's global macro coverage. Cliff has held high-level positions in the US government and regularly meets top foreign leaders. He provides cutting-edge insights on political risk.
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