Center Vice President Discusses the Impact of the Coronavirus on World Politics


The outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic has shaken the international community to its core. As the world’s most powerful nations struggle to manage the effects of the virus domestically, they must also deal with a host of international challenges which have been exacerbated by the growing pandemic.

On April 21, 2020, the Center for the National Interest’s Vice President & Director of Studies George Beebe discussed these challenges while participating in the “Geopolitics and COVID-19” webinar with Susan Eisenhower of the Eisenhower Institute. In this discussion, Ms. Eisenhower cited several relevant lessons from Beebe’s most recent book The Russia Trap: How Our Shadow War with Russia Could Spiral into Nuclear Catastrophe, such as the threat posed by “complex systems dangers” in order to provide insight into the current COVID-19 pandemic. Beebe discussed the impact the pandemic might have on the geopolitical landscape of Russia, China, and the United States and warned against overreacting to China’s perceived complicity in the early spread of the pandemic. He cautioned that the virus threatens to expose the fragility of the global order and discussed the growing threat posed by soft security issues (including those in cyberspace) which could spiral into further catastrophic disaster if not handled appropriately.