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Pandemics and International Security: The Outlook for NATO


The Covid-19 pandemic has had a multi-faced impact on Western societies. Three broad, interconnected aspects are explored through this publication with a view to NATO future evolution. First, international cooperation to address pandemics. Actually, multilateral institutions had to cope with unprecedented challenges, while the pandemic exposed existing patterns of great power competition applied to the global race for personal protective equipment, vaccines and relevant raw materials. Second, resilience and security of supply chains. Global economy experienced disruptions in trade and in the functioning of the global value chains (GVCs), and the pandemic experience prompted a deep revision of standard views on critical interdependencies, diversification, resilience of GVCs and security of supplies. Third, when it comes to international security, the pandemic mostly acted as a catalyst of existing trends, such as the geopolitical competition between the United States and China. As for the armed forces, in several NATO countries including France, Italy and the United Kingdom, they have been called to operate in support of civilian authorities to deal with Covid-related aspects such as field hospitals, logistics, law enforcement, Covid tests or the vaccines’ distribution – and NATO itself provided support through its bodies such as the Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre (EADRCC).

This publication is the result of the eighth academic conference, entitled “Pandemics and International Security: The Outlook for NATO", held in Bertinoro (Forlì) on 21-22 October 2021 and organised by the NATO Allied Command Transformation (ACT), the University of Bologna and Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI).

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