The global crisis unleashed by the COVID-19 pandemic will prompt a period of reflection and, potentially, a once-in-a-generation chance for sweeping policy change and reform. But the United States and the rest of the world have a checkered record during similar hinge points in modern history.

After World War II, policymakers responded to widespread social collapse and upheaval with bold, visionary investments in a new international and domestic order, spending money on long-term institutions and programs that produced deep and lasting stability. But other critical moments ended up as missed opportunities, characterized by chauvinism and isolationism: the end of World War I, the end of the Cold War, and 9/11.

On this episode of Order from Ashes, Ilan Goldenberg and Mieke Eoyang assess this history and argue that we aren’t necessarily condemned to repeat past mistakes. Today, Americans have a rare opportunity to dramatically transform government, society, and the international order for the better—or else risk worsening the defects that have left the world so vulnerable to the pandemic in the first place.

Participants include:

  • Mieke Eoyang, vice president, Third Way
  • Ilan Goldenberg, senior fellow, Center for a New American Security
  • Thanassis Cambanis, senior fellow, The Century Foundation