COVID-19 ‘a moment of reckoning’ for democratic order


COVID-19 marks a moment of reckoning for our era, according to a new book. While the pandemic is not likely to claim as many lives as the period from 1939 to 1945, its impacts on the global economy, on democracy, on public health, on food security, and on governance will reverberate for years to come, Johns Hopkins University’s Ronald J. Daniels writes in the Foreword to COVID-19 and World Order: The Future of Conflict, Competition, and Cooperation:

It is a multidimensional emergency that requires the efforts of all disciplines: a public health crisis that demands new tools to prevent the spread of this devastating disease and to conduct effective testing and tracing; a medical crisis that necessitates new modalities of treatment to heal those who are afflicted; and, in the recent words of an open letter whose signatories include former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, a “political crisis that threatens the future of liberal democracy.”*

* National Endowment for Democracy, “A Call to Defend Democracy,” June 25, 2020.

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