President Joe Biden took office with an ambitious U.S. foreign policy agenda summed up by his favorite campaign tagline: “America is back.” In principle, Biden’s agenda is rooted in a repudiation of Trump’s “America First” legacy and the restoration of the multilateral order. But in practice, some of Biden’s priorities bear a close resemblance to Trump’s agenda. Biden may find it difficult to fully restore a pre-Trump status quo. Nevertheless, as the war in Ukraine and the crisis leading up to it highlight, there is still high demand for decisive U.S. leadership in times of crisis.
From spyware wielded by autocrats to expanded surveillance by police states under the cover of the coronavirus pandemic, new technologies are helping authoritarian governments entrench their power and target their critics. They are also amplifying the spread of disinformation. Yet many democracies are also using these same technologies in troubling ways. This WPR report provides a comprehensive look at how these state-of-the-art tools are being harnessed by different governments around the world.
Just months after reports emerged of a novel coronavirus spreading in central China, our world, and all of our individual worlds, have been transformed by what has become a terrifying pandemic. What can governments, other global actors and individuals do survive the crisis and navigate the new world beyond it? We have yet to see an international response that matches the scale of the threat because the outbreak has hit at a time when the international order’s immune system is badly compromised.