John Keiger
John Keiger

Covid-19 and the twilight of Britain and France

Covid-19 and the twilight of Britain and France

Is Covid accelerating the eclipse of France and the UK as ‘great powers’? For over two centuries Paris and London have been seated at the top table in world affairs. The essential element of their power has been economic, allowing both states to maintain powerful defence budgets, pursue active foreign policies and in the last resort, to wage war. Since 1945, although their power has in relative terms continued to decline, they have remained great power players as two of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, and as two of the five official nuclear powers able to project force to all regions of the globe by dint of nuclear armed navies, notably submarines. This continues to be possible as long as they remain the fifth and sixth largest world economies.

John Keiger

Covid-19 and the twilight of Britain and France

Covid-19 and the twilight of Britain and France

Is Covid accelerating the eclipse of France and the UK as ‘great powers’? For over two centuries Paris and London have been seated at the top table in world affairs. The essential element of their power has been economic, allowing both states to maintain powerful defence budgets, pursue active foreign policies and in the last resort, to wage war. Since 1945, although their power has in relative terms continued to decline, they have remained great power players as two of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, and as two of the five official nuclear powers able to project force to all regions of the globe by dint of nuclear armed navies, notably submarines. This continues to be possible as long as they remain the fifth and sixth largest world economies.

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