Geopolitics for the End Time

From the Pandemic to the Climate Crisis

September 2021 9781787385542 240pp
December 2023 9781805260363 240pp
Available as an eBook
EU Customers


As we approach catastrophe, everything changes. What are the lessons from the pandemic? How well have different cultures and societies responded, and could this become a turning point in the flow of history?

Before Covid, a new competition was already arising between alternative geopolitical models–but the context of this clash wasn’t yet clear. What if it takes place on neutral ground? In a state of nature, with few or no political rules, amid quickly evolving chaos? When the greatest threat to national security is no longer other states, but the environment itself, which countries might rise to the top?

This book explores how Covid-19 has already transformed the global system, and how it serves as a prelude to a planet afflicted by climate change. Bruno Maçães is one of the first to see the pandemic as the dawn of a new strategic era, heralding a profoundly changed world-political landscape.

Cover image: Ludwig Meidner, ‘Apocalyptic City’, 1913. © Ludwig Meidner-Archiv, Jüdisches Museum der Stadt Frankfurt am Main


‘Perceptive.’ — The Economist

‘Provocative and original.’ — Gideon Rachman, Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent, Financial Times

‘A sweeping, intelligent and often unpredictable survey of the pandemic age […] A short book on a big subject, Geopolitics for the End Time is essential to helping us make sense of the morbid symptoms of the present and the alarming prospects for the future.’ — New Statesman, ‘The Best Books of 2021’

‘Refreshing’ — Simon Jenkins, New Statesman

‘Endlessly inventive, restlessly cosmopolitan, Bruno Maçães has written an essential book with which to think about the Covid crisis and its implications for our future.’ — Professor Adam Tooze, historian and author of Crashed: How a Decade of Financial Crises Changed the World

‘With typical panache, Maçães sets out the story of what went wrong when Covid-19 spread around the world—and why. Gripping, terrifying and revealing in equal measures.’ — Professor Peter Frankopan, author of The Silk Roads: A New History of the World

‘2020 was the true start of the twenty-first century, marking the death of an old world, and a recognition that new ideas in culture, politics, science and technology have become possible. Maçães does an excellent job of taking us through some core themes of the world to come.’ — Vitalik Buterin, founder of Ethereum and Bitcoin Magazine

‘Travelling through Covid exposes the reality of our leaders and lives. Maçães shows us why that matters not just for the pandemic but for life itself. This is a compelling polemic worth reading slowly, during another lockdown, perhaps.’ — Tom Tugendhat, Conservative MP for Tonbridge and Malling

‘An important book. Bruno Maçães once again asks the crucial questions.’ — Ece Temelkuran, journalist, novelist, political commentator and author of How to Lose a Country: The 7 Steps from Democracy to Dictatorship


Bruno Maçães holds a doctorate in Political Science from Harvard University. He is a former minister of European affairs in Portugal. In that role he represented his country in Brussels during the eurozone crisis, the first Russo-Ukrainian war and Brexit. He has published four books since 2018, mostly focused on geopolitics, China, Russia and technology: Belt and RoadHistory Has Begun and Geopolitics for the End Time, all published by Hurst; and The Dawn of Eurasia. In 2019 he was a fellow at Renmin University of China. Since 2020 he has been a fellow at the Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies in Brussels. As a risk consultant, he has advised some of the largest companies in the world on geopolitics and technology.

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