Professor Emeritus Kenneth B. Pyle recently wrote an essay for the National Bureau of Asian Research as part of its “The New Normal in Asia” series. The series explores ways in which the Covid-19 pandemic might shape or reorder the world across multiple dimensions. Professor Pyle writes that:
We are in the thrall of driving forces. The Covid-19 pandemic is the most recent. In my view, it has acted as a kind of catalyst speeding up and intensifying the other motive forces that predated it. By distracting and further dividing nations, the pandemic has made cooperation more difficult. The cumulative effect is to create an epochal time of crisis and looming danger. The pandemic itself has a solution. A vaccine may cure it, although not the human and economic consequences. The other forces do not yet have a solution. They require collective action. Their locus is primarily in Asia, now the center of gravity in world power. Together these profound forces make existential crisis in Asia the new normal.
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