Estimating the long-term effect of the current pandemic is not an exact prediction of the future, but an exercise in weighing probabilities and adjusting current policies. When envisioning the international order in 2030, five scenarios stand out.

CAMBRIDGE – There is no single future until it happens, and any effort to envision geopolitics in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic must include a range of possible futures. I suggest five plausible futures in 2030, but obviously others can be imagined.

The end of the globalized liberal order. The world order established by the United States after World War II created a framework of institutions that led to a remarkable liberalization of international trade and finance. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, this order was being challenged by the rise of China and the growth of populism in Western democracies. China benefited from…

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