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The pandemic as a rupture that follows rules: Comparing governance responses in India, USA, Sweden and Norway

Sareen, Siddharth and Nielsen, Kenneth Bo and Oskarsson, Patrik and Remme, Devyn (2021). The pandemic as a rupture that follows rules: Comparing governance responses in India, USA, Sweden and Norway. Frontiers in Human Dynamics. 3 , 636422
[Research article]

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Abstract

How a country responds to a rupture such as the COVID-19 pandemic can be revelatory of its governance. Governance entails not only the exercise but also the constitution of authority. The pandemic response thus presents a real-world disruption to verify or problematize some truisms about national governance and produce novel comparisons and insights. We present a comparative analysis across four established democratic nation-states. First, we identify concerns of relevance for national pandemic responses and map them to state characteristics. Next, we conduct thematic analyses of recent ruptures in India, the United States, Sweden and Norway, to form a baseline of truisms about governance responses to frontier moments such as this pandemic, and hypothesize their relative propensities across the concerns. We then compile comparative data on emergent pandemic responses during the first 90 days of respective, temporally proximate outbreaks. This combination enables us to link response characteristics to national propensities across the relevant concerns. We identify similarities and differences between what the pandemic responses reveal and the truisms of scholarship about the four countries state characteristics. We argue that ruptures in democratic governance contexts embody temporally discontiguous and country-specific patterns. They are conjunctures of particular possibilities for bounded reconfiguration. Such reconfiguration can intensify or shift the course of what the state is becoming. We argue that in our cases it accelerates shifts to authoritarianism (India and the United States), raises stark questions of national identity (Norway and Sweden) and underscores tensions between the reemergence of welfare states and the global project of neoliberalism. By revealing what sort of rules show resurgence across ruptures, our comparative analysis deepens a timely understanding of punctuated politics of reconfiguration of authority.

Authors/Creators:Sareen, Siddharth and Nielsen, Kenneth Bo and Oskarsson, Patrik and Remme, Devyn
Title:The pandemic as a rupture that follows rules: Comparing governance responses in India, USA, Sweden and Norway
Series Name/Journal:Frontiers in Human Dynamics
Year of publishing :2021
Volume:3
Article number:636422
Number of Pages:17
Language:English
Publication Type:Research article
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 5 Social Sciences > 509 Other Social Sciences > Social Sciences Interdisciplinary (Peace and Conflict Research and Studies on Sustainable Society)
Keywords:COVID-19, rupture, governance, authoritarianism, welfare state, neoliberalism
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-112310
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-112310
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
DOI10.3389/fhumd.2021.636422
ID Code:24562
Faculty:NJ - Fakulteten för naturresurser och jordbruksvetenskap
Department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Urban and Rural Development
(LTJ, LTV) > Dept. of Urban and Rural Development
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:18 Jun 2021 08:03
Metadata Last Modified:18 Jun 2021 08:11

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