Foreign Policy Research Institute A Nation Must Think Before it Acts The “Polypandemic” Threat: Impacts on Development, Fragility, and Conflict

The “Polypandemic” Threat: Impacts on Development, Fragility, and Conflict

  • Date / Time:
  • April 22, 2021
  • 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm

The coronavirus has sparked multiple pandemics that are not only occurring simultaneously but are also reinforcing each other in their detrimental effects. According to the democracy index V-DEM, in the fourth quarter of 2020, the coronavirus responses of 69 countries violated democratic standards. Because of increases in the number of people projected to be pushed into extreme poverty by COVID-19 and the growth of illicit economies, one may no longer speak of one pandemic only. Instead, we should speak of a “polypandemic.” How will the world meet these growing crises as it continues to fight the COVID-19 pandemic? To answer this question and more, join Orbis Editor Nick Gvosdev and article author Sophie Eisentraut. New York University’s Carolyn Kissane will join the conversation also to discuss the article in the Spring 2021 Issue of Orbis and the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic that go beyond the disease itself.

Sophie Eisentraut is a senior researcher at the Munich Security Conference (MSC), where she contributes to the growing number of reports published by the MSC, including its annual flagship publication, the Munich Security Report. Prior to joining the MSC in 2018, Sophie was a transatlantic post-doctoral fellow at the German Marshall Fund (GMF) in Washington, DC, the Finnish Institute of International Affairs (FIIA) in Helsinki, and the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) in Berlin. Sophie holds a PhD in political science and a master’s degree in international relations from Freie Universität Berlin. During her PhD studies, she worked as a research associate at the Global Governance research unit at the WZB Berlin Social Science Center, where she was also involved in a research project on contested world orders, analyzing normative differences and conflicts underlying the evolution of world order.

Dr. Carolyn Kissane serves as the Academic Director of the graduate program in Global Affairs at the Center for Global Affairs and is a Clinical Associate Professor where she teaches graduate-level courses examining the geopolitics of energy, comparative energy politics, energy, environment, and resource security, a regional course focusing on Central Asia. She is the Coordinator of the Energy and Environment concentration at the Center. Dr. Kissane was awarded the esteemed NYU Excellence in Teaching Award in 2007, the SCPS Award for Teaching Excellence in 2009, and nominated for the NYU-wide Distinguished Teaching Award in 2008, 2009, and 2016. She was named Breaking Energy’s Top Ten New York Women in Energy and Top Ten Energy Communicator. She hosts Fueling our Future, an energy series she moderates which brings in energy and environment experts for conversation and debate.  She serves on the boards of the New York Energy Forum, New York Energy Week, and the Clean Start Advisory Board.

Nikolas Gvosdev is the Editor of Orbis: FPRI’s Journal of World Affairs and a Senior Fellow in FPRI’s Eurasia Program. He is also a Professor of National Security Affairs, holding the Captain Jerome E. Levy Chair in Economic Geography and National Security at the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island. He was formerly the Editor of The National Interest magazine and a Senior Fellow at The Nixon Center in Washington, D.C. Gvosdev received his doctorate from St Antony’s College, Oxford University, where he studied on a Rhodes Scholarship. A frequent commentator on Russian and Eurasian affairs, his work has appeared in such outlets as Foreign AffairsThe Financial  TimesThe Los Angeles Times, and Orbis, and he has appeared as a commentator on CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, National Public Radio, and BBC. He is the co-author of US Foreign Policy and Defense Strategy: The Rise of an Incidental Superpower, and the co-author of Russian Foreign Policy: Vectors, Sectors, and Interests.


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