Democracy in a global emergency five lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic

Afsoun Afsahi, Emily Beausoleil, Rikki Dean, Selen Ayirtman Ercan, Jean-Paul Gagnon

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

As countries around the world went into lockdown, we turned to 32 leading scholars working on different aspects of democracy and asked them what they think about how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted democracy. In this article, we synthesize the reflections of these scholars and present five key insights about the prospects and challenges of enacting democracy both during and after the pandemic: (1) COVID-19 has had corrosive effects on already endangered democratic institutions, (2) COVID-19 has revealed alternative possibilities for democratic politics in the state of emergency, (3) COVID-19 has amplified the inequalities and injustices within democracies, (4) COVID-19 has demonstrated the need for institutional infrastructure for prolonged solidarity, and (5) COVID-19 has highlighted the predominance of the nation-state and its limitations. Collectively, these insights open up important normative and practical questions about what democracy should look like in the face of an emergency and what we might expect it to achieve under such circumstances.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)v-xix
Number of pages15
JournalDemocratic Theory
Volume7
Issue number2
Early online dateOct 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020

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