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In 2020, the world was swept by a crisis that, though predictable, was in essence unprecedented. Among the most significant consequences were the human impact, whether in terms of lives lost or of durable mental and/or physical impairment; the restrictions of fundamental liberties ; and the overall economic and related social costs. Moreover, states have rarely been faced with the reality of their interdependence to a comparable degree : multiple societies suddenly found themselves utterly vulnerable. Our understanding of peace and security should now be redefined. The first part of this work will propose a comparative assessment of the current pandemic in light of past crises, and highlight the potential benefits of the early warning approach. We will then turn to the issue of international relations and of the resulting game of loss and gain at state level. The final part will provide a few innovative insights into a number of specific areas, such as the religious, the academic and the military playing fields. The concept that emerges is that of risk.
This work is edited by François Mabille, permanent researcher at CNRS (National Center for Scientific Research, Paris, France) and secretary-general of the International Federation of Catholic Universities.