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World leaders gather around a conference table

Tue, Jul 7, 2020

Scenario 3: New Renaissance

The most hopeful of our three preliminary post-COVID scenarios sees the world drawing together in increased cooperation. A new commitment to better governance leads to the creation of international bodies to counter global threats such as disease, conflict, and climate. Improved international cooperation leads to a V-shaped recovery as major economies resume growth.

Atlantic Council Strategy Paper Series by Mathew J. Burrows, Peter Engelke

Coronavirus
A woman wearing a protective mask is seen past a portrait of Chinese President Xi Jinping on a street as the country is hit by an outbreak of the coronavirus, in Shanghai, China March 12, 2020

Tue, Jul 7, 2020

Scenario 2: China first

The second of our preliminary post-COVID scenarios features an ascendant China, as it deploys its "Belts and Roads" assistance to own large portions of infrastructure in Asia, Africa and Latin America. A new cold war looms as the U.S. and Europe draw closer to counter a growing China-Russia alliance.

Atlantic Council Strategy Paper Series by Mathew J. Burrows, Peter Engelke

Coronavirus
Foreign workers wearing protective face masks queue to use an ATM

Tue, Jul 7, 2020

Scenario 1: Great accelerator downwards

In the gloomiest of three post-COVID-19 scenarios, the United States, Europe, and China all struggle to recover despite major fiscal and monetary efforts. A global depression unlike anything seen since the 1930s grips the world as countries embrace isolationism and open conflict looms between the US and a China-Russia alliance.

Atlantic Council Strategy Paper Series by Mathew J. Burrows, Peter Engelke

Coronavirus
A paramedic uses an infrared thermometer to measure the temperature of a police officer alongside a road during a 21-day nationwide lockdown to slow the spreading of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Ahmedabad, India, April 9, 2020. REUTERS/Amit Dave

Tue, Jul 7, 2020

India and South Asia: potential humanitarian disaster

A disorganized—and perhaps tardy—COVID-19 lockdown could mean food shortages and high mortality rates for India, while Pakistan's military, religious and civil leaders offer contradictory directives that could overwhelm the country's weak public health system.

Atlantic Council Strategy Paper Series by Mathew J. Burrows, Peter Engelke

Coronavirus South Asia
Coronavirus Cases Increase to 200 in Brazil

Tue, Jul 7, 2020

Latin America vulnerable to commodity cycle

Weak health care systems, tight state budgets and dense, low-income cities—plus an over-reliance on commodities in many countries—create potential hotspots across Latin America and open the possibility of a new front in the battle for influence between the US and China.

Atlantic Council Strategy Paper Series by Mathew J. Burrows, Peter Engelke

Coronavirus Latin America
Russian President Vladimir Putin work before a meeting on the situation with the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Russia, outside Moscow

Tue, Jul 7, 2020

An economic test for Putin and Russia

Russia faces threats on two fronts: A notoriously fragile health system leaves puts Russia in a poor position to weather a prolonged COVID-related shutdown, while its ongoing energy price war with Saudi Arabia leaves little capacity to kickstart post-COVID economic growth.

Atlantic Council Strategy Paper Series by Mathew J. Burrows, Peter Engelke

Coronavirus Russia
Door-to-door testing in an attempt to contain the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Umlazi township near Durban

Tue, Jul 7, 2020

Africa left to deal alone with the pandemic?

The lack of robust public health systems and manufacturing basis plus rapid urbanization point to particular difficulties in weathering the COVID-19 pandemic in Sub-Saharan Africa. The continent's recovery will be shaped by US, Chinese and European engagement.

Atlantic Council Strategy Paper Series by Mathew J. Burrows, Peter Engelke

Africa Coronavirus
An internally displaced Syrian girl wears a face mask as members of the Syrian Civil defence sanitize the Bab Al-Nour internally displaced persons camp, to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Azaz

Tue, Jul 7, 2020

Middle East in turmoil even before pandemic hit

Weak public health systems, an over-reliance on hydrocarbons for economic growth, and a collapse in tourism point to particular disaster across the Middle East. Recovery will be long and slow absent intervention from non-regional powers.

Atlantic Council Strategy Paper Series by Mathew J. Burrows, Peter Engelke

Coronavirus Middle East
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Charlotte, North Carolina, U.S., March 2, 2020

Tue, Jul 7, 2020

East Asian allies dismayed by America first approach

Absent a vibrant American commitment to helping its traditional East Asian allies restart their economy in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, China could step in, gaining influence in East Asia at the US's expense.

Atlantic Council Strategy Paper Series by Mathew J. Burrows, Peter Engelke

Coronavirus East Asia
EU flag flying under a cloud sky in Germany

Tue, Jul 7, 2020

Another test for Europe

The third pan-European crisis in a decade could further weaken EU solidarity, further widening gaps between Northern Europe and the Mediterranean South. Europe is unlikely to retain a multilateralist framework without US assistance and acquiescence from China.

Atlantic Council Strategy Paper Series by Mathew J. Burrows, Peter Engelke

Coronavirus Europe & Eurasia