By now, the COVID-19 has spread to every corner of the world, and only a handful of dictatorships and tiny island countries have not yet reported on confirmed infections. At the same time, the social and political dimensions of the crisis have come more and more apparent. There have been concerns, for example, about how authoritarian political leaders might use the crisis as an excuse to consolidate their power, discussion about whether authoritarian or democratic countries fare better in handling the pandemics, and how the situation has affected elections coinciding with the crisis. In this post, Eemil Mitikka is going to consider how the COVID-19 crisis relates to one of the key concepts in social sciences, which is trust. This is the fifth post of our “Politics & Pandemics” special series.
Our project members Margarita Zavadskaya and Elena Gorbacheva not only write about the life and politics changed by the coronavirus for ElMaRB Politics&Pandemics series but also wrote an analytical note for European Dialogue expert group about how Finland deals with the outbreak and what can be learned from it.
In the paper titled “Борьба с пандемией в Финляндии: бесполезные уроки?” (Fighting the pandemic in Finland: useless lessons?), the researchers provide a detailed overview of how the state reacted to the emergency, what measures were undertaken, how the decisions are made, and when will the restrictions be lifted. They conclude, that even though the Finnish strategy seems to be efficient, it is not likely to be borrowed by states with a different political system. However, some things from Finnish experience can still be taken into account. Which ones? You can find out about them from the analytical note.
Pandemic throws a monkey wrench into many plans, including national elections and in some special cases like Russia – attempts to call ‘a referendum’ or symbolic vote to support constitutional amendments that will extend the president’s term in power. Electoral timing has always been a highly sensitive issue for political elites: in Westminster democracies, early elections are a way to extend the government’s longevity and to surf the wave of massive support, in others – electoral time-table is exogenous and can be altered only under extreme circumstances. The COVID-19 epidemic is definitely one of those. Here we collected the data on all the countries that scheduled elections and/or referendums, whether these countries altered electoral schedules given the pandemic and how it affected electoral outcomes. This is the fourth post of our special coronavirus series “Politics & Pandemics”, written by Margarita Zavadskaya and Elena Gorbacheva.
During the last months, we observe a dramatic variety of how countries with diverging healthcare systems and regimes react to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to several accounts, the Chinese coping model of containing the disease seems to provoke a lot of interest if not admiration. However, China is infamously known for systemic misreporting on the state of affairs and this experience should be taken with caution. Communist and post-communist states share the common legacy of a universalistic welfare system based on political compliance (putting aside special services for the privileged groups) (Cook 2011) and it is the case of former-USSR states. Today we are glad to publish a short analytical entry by Mirzokhid Karshiev, Doctoral Candidate in the Global Processes and Flows in the Eurasian Space research group,with an insider’s view on how Uzbekistan – another example of a closed state with communist legacy – manages the challenges of COVID-19. Mirzokhid Karshiev is currently conducting fieldwork in Tashkent in the H2020 MSC RISE project New Markets.
We continue with our special coronavirus series “Politics & Pandemics”, and this week’s post is written by ElMaRB project leader Dr. Margarita Zavadskaya. In the series, we provide weekly updates on the coronavirus outbreak and its effects on politics, media, and activism. We will publish blog entries written by us and invited experts, where we will try to look at the current events through the prism of political and social sciences.
This post opens a series “Politics & Pandemics” – weekly updates on the coronavirus outbreak and its effects on politics, media, and activism. We will publish blog entries written by us and invited experts, where we will try to look at the current events through the prism of political and social sciences. The first entry is written by Doctoral student Elena Gorbacheva.