There is a word to describe the current global landscape: the polycrisis. On this episode of In Search of Monsters, historian Adam Tooze details this polycrisis, a dynamic in which old crises like war, weather, and disease are breeding deadly new variants of anxiety and danger. It’s a polycrisis when you feel the old world you knew is undergoing not change but transformation.
This notion of polycrisis corresponds with the emerging global multipolarity, a situation in which the United States no longer holds preeminent power and influence. The three giant military powers in the world today sit apart and aloof, each one suffering its own identity crisis, each one on the defensive about looking and acting so aggressive. As Tooze details the transformative nature of this polycrisis, it is important to recognize the solution to this complex, multi-faceted problem will necessarily entail diplomatic engagement and cooperation, not militancy.
Listen to the full episode here:
Additionally, check out these related resources:
• Chartbook #167: Haiti 2022 – Polycrisis Extreme – November 1st, 2022.
• Managed Competition: A U.S. Grand Strategy for a Multipolar World – George Beebe’s Quincy Institute Brief, September 1st, 2022
• When will we accept the reality of a new multipolar world? – John Wight in Responsible Statecraft, June 16th, 2022.