The worst of the immediate health and economic impacts of COVID-19 will (hopefully) soon be behind us as we enter into a period of recovery. But even as we exit these disruptive past few years, don’t expect global stability to emerge with us. We will be living in a changed world, and certain geopolitical trends and tensions accelerated by the pandemic will only worsen, says a report from Public Policy Forum.
Writing in July 2020 as a part of PPF’s Rebuild Canada project, Ottawa professor in the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs Roland Paris warns that Canadian interests will be jeopardized in ways that may be unfamiliar to a country long used to a more benign international environment. Canada can no longer take a complacent attitude to foreign affairs, he argues, not bothering to cultivate expertise on the broader world we inhabit.
He highlights three issues that will be particularly relevant:
- managing relations with a changed United States.
- adjusting to a world of mounting China-US rivalry.
- sustaining multilateral co-operation in areas of importance to Canada as the liberal world order so long taken for granted disintegrates.
The combination of these three challenges, he writes, “represent the most serious foreign-policy challenge facing Canada since the Second World War. The future prosperity, security, and well-being of Canadians will depend, in no small measure, on how well we navigate this unfamiliar world.”