Analysis & Opinions - East Asia Forum

How COVID-19 is Testing American Leadership

| Apr. 26, 2020

This article is part of an East Asia Forum special feature series on the novel coronavirus crisis and its impact.

Under the influence of the information revolution and globalisation, world politics has changed in a way that means that even if the United States remains the largest power, it cannot achieve many of its international goals acting alone. But the Trump administration is failing this test. Its national security strategy (and budget) is focussed almost entirely on great power competition, particularly with China.

As the COVID-19 pandemic has shown, transnational interdependence is increasing. Regardless of potential setbacks to economic globalisation, environmental globalisation will continue to grow. Climate change and rising sea levels will affect the quality of life for everyone, but Americans cannot manage the problem alone. In a world where borders are becoming more porous to everything from drugs to infectious diseases to terrorism, nations must use soft power to develop networks and build regimes and institutions to address shared threats and challenges....

For more information on this publication: Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation: Nye, Joseph S.“How COVID-19 is Testing American Leadership.” East Asia Forum, April 26, 2020.