Diplomatic Courier is extremely pleased to bring you the fourth volume in our “Chronicling COVID-19” series of bookazines. This is the penultimate volume, though we will be taking a short break from the series to focus on the Global Talent Summit and this year’s UN SDGs in Action Forum. We will return to publish our fifth and final volume of Chronicling COVID-19 in October. We are grateful that you’ve stuck with us so far!

In this fourth volume, we focused on governance strategies at play around the world. Where are the gaps? What can we learn from the successes and failures of our government and those around us? What does all this mean for the post-COVID-19 world? To answer these questions, we turned to our long-time collaborator William & Mary and the William & Mary Whole of Government Center of Excellence.

Experts from the Center took on an ambitious array of governance questions. They examined challenges ranging from those faced by relatively small groups of indigenous people to the whole continent of Africa. They considered supply chain disruptions and how governments can or should respond. They explored questions of morality and efficacy in our policy responses as well as the role individuals and societies play in the success (and formulation) of those responses.

Once again, Diplomatic Courier has a multitude of aims in this volume. We aim to better understand what we've done well and where we've fallen short in our responses to the pandemic. We aim to give experts a platform to show how we can do better in cases where we've fallen short, or how to take lessons learned from our successes and apply them elsewhere. Above all, we aim to illustrate how this pandemic provides us with an opportunity—albeit a costly one—to build a post-COVID-19 world that is better than where we stood at the start of 2020.

As we move into each successive volume of the Chronicling COVID-19 special series, it becomes increasingly evident that few of the problems the global community faces because of the pandemic are new. While most of those problems aren't new, their scope and visibility now are far too great to ignore. A great challenge of our time is not only to control the pandemic and minimize damage to economies and public health, but to apply lessons the pandemic offers, to teach us toward building a better, more durable system. We believe that our contributors in this and previous volumes are providing important pieces of the roadmap to doing just that, and we hope you can take something useful from your reading.

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