“Geopolitical Shifts and the Post-COVID World: Europe and the Multipolar System, IAI Commentaries”, Stefano Cont (IAI, Italy)

The full extent of COVID-19’s impact on global geopolitical balances cannot yet be assessed. Nevertheless, a number of trends are clearly emerging and these have already upset a number of balances which previously seemed unchangeable. COVID-19 is evidently not the cause of such changes, which had been well underway before the outbreak, but the pandemic has become a litmus test that has further thrust these developments under the political spotlight. The first visible consequence is the establishment of a global system on a multipolar basis, where each “pole” pursues its policies by using traditional instruments of power in very different ways. In this system, where Russia, China, the United States and, potentially, the European Union tend to emerge as key global players, other countries, such as India or Brazil, do not yet seem to have reached the status of “global competitors”. This proves that a booming economy is not enough to have a global role. Other material and immaterial factors, which these countries do not currently possess, are required.

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