The world in transition

What will the post-pandemic future be like?

When the world is going through great shocks, it can seem that the future will be radically and immediately transformed by them. But looking at how past crises played out, we find that most of them affected the world in limited and gradual ways. The post-pandemic world will be different, but also a lot more recognisable than some had originally thought, argues Stathis Kalyvas.


Like most people, I first heard of the “new coronavirus” sometime in late January 2019. I remember a conversation with a colleague who was visiting Oxford from Hong Kong about how life had changed back home—and I recall thinking how far away that was and how lucky we were to be protected from it. That was still my feeling in early March of 2020 when I travelled to Edinburgh, surrounded as I was by the cheerful crowds who had gathered to attend the Scotland vs. France rugby game.  Later that week I read the first news-reports coming out of Bergamo, Italy and the rest is, as the s

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