On January 28, the Valdai Club hosted an expert discussion, titled “The First Year of COVID-19: Socio-Political Consequences Through the Lens of Valdai Club Experts”, together with the presentation of the Valdai Club report of the same name.
The coronavirus pandemic has divided human life into a “before” and “after”, launched a reboot of the international order and created a sense of elevated instability in all spheres. Naturally, the pandemic and its socio-political consequences were the focus of expert attention. During 2020, the first year of the pandemic, the Valdai Club repeatedly turned to the analysis of various aspects of the crisis. Authors from different regions of the world touched upon the following issues: a new geopolitical struggle in connection with the “vaccine arms race”, increased state control and “the value of non-freedom”, a crisis of trust in international institutions, the relationship between the coronavirus and the climate agenda, a crisis of global solidarity, the growth of protectionism and many others.
At the end of the year, it was decided to make a compilation of selected texts published by the Club on the topic of coronavirus. The new report of the Valdai Club evidences the lively and rapid evolution of expert approaches which was demonstrated during the first year of the pandemic. A wide range of opinions presented by the Valdai Club experts on this issue became the Club’s contribution to a heated discussion that began in connection with the search for the optimal responses of states to the epidemiological threat.
What is the difference between expert assessments of the pandemic in early 2020 and now? What global challenges should the world community consider as its top priority after the first year of the pandemic? Will the world be able to return to its former state, before COVID? The participants in the discussion answered these and other questions.
- Oleg Barabanov, Programme Director of the Valdai Club, author of the report;
- Valery Fyodorov, Director General of the All-Russian Center for the Study of Public Opinion (VTsIOM);
- Kancho Stoychev, President of Gallup International Association;
- Richard Sakwa, Professor of Russian and European Politics at the University of Kent; Associate Fellow of Chatham House;
- Apostolos Veizis, Director of Medical Operational Support Unit (SOMA), Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF).
Working languages: Russian, English.