Pandemic Politics: What have we learned?

24 November, 15:00 UTC | 16:00 CET | 10:00 ET
Pandemic Politics: What have we learned?

What has political science contributed to understanding the spread and containment of COVID-19?

In this presentation, Jane Duckett discusses how political scientists have researched the pandemic and what they have discovered so far. She also reflects on what the pandemic tells us about contemporary political science research as well as the limits and future of the discipline.

ūüĎČ List of related resources

  • Abramowitz, Sharon. “Epidemics (Especially Ebola).” Annual Review of Anthropology 46, no. 1 (2017/10/23 2017): 421-45.
  • Academies, National. Strategies for Building Confidence in the Covid-19 Vaccines.  Washington, D.C.: The National Academies Press, 2021. doi:10.17226/26068.
  • Adolph, Christopher, Kenya Amano, Bree Bang-Jensen, Nancy Fullman, and John Wilkerson. “Pandemic Politics: Timing State-Level Social Distancing Responses to Covid-19.” Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law 46, no. 2 (2021): 211-33.
  • Algan, Yann, Daniel Cohen, Eva Davoine, Martial Foucault, and Stefanie Stantcheva. “Trust in Scientists in Times of Pandemic: Panel Evidence from 12 Countries.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 118, no. 40 (2021): e2108576118.
  • Atchison, Christina, Leigh Robert Bowman, Charlotte Vrinten, Rozlyn Redd, Philippa Prister√†, Jeffrey Eaton, and Helen Ward. “Early Perceptions and Behavioural Responses During the Covid-19 Pandemic: A Cross-Sectional Survey of Uk Adults.” BMJ Open 11, no. 1 (2021): e043577.
  • Brilliant, Larry. Sometimes Brilliant: The Impossible Adventure of a Spiritual Seeker and Visionary Physician Who Helped Conquer the Worst Disease in History. New York: Harper One, 2016.
  • Carugati, Federica, and Margaret Levi. A Moral Political Economy: Present, Past, and Future.  Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2021. doi:DOI: 10.1017/9781108872942.
  • Cook, Karen, Russell Hardin, and Margaret Levi. Cooperation without Trust? New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 2005.
  • Everett, Jim A. C., Clara Colombatto, Edmond Awad, Paulo Boggio, Bj√∂rn Bos, William J. Brady, Megha Chawla, et al. “Moral Dilemmas and Trust in Leaders During a Global Health Crisis.” Nature Human Behaviour 5, no. 8 (2021/08/01 2021): 1074-88.
  • Grossman, Guy, Soojong Kim, Jonah M. Rexer, and Harsha Thirumurthy. “Political Partisanship Influences Behavioral Responses to Governors‚Äô Recommendations for Covid-19 Prevention in the United States.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 117, no. 39 (2020): 24144.
  • Hale, Thomas, Noam Angrist, Andrew J. Hale, Beatriz Kira, Saptarshi Majumdar, Anna Petherick, Toby Phillips, et al. “Government Responses and Covid-19 Deaths: Global Evidence across Multiple Pandemic Waves.” PLOS ONE 16, no. 7 (2021): e0253116.
  • Jewett, Andrew. “How Americans Came to Distrust Science.” Boston Review  (2020).
  • Levi, Margaret. “Trustworthy Government, Legitimating Beliefs.” Chap. 12 In Nomos, edited by Jack Knight and Melissa Schwartzberg, 361-82. New York: New York University Press, 2019.
  • Levi, Margaret, and Audrey Sacks. “Legitimating Beliefs: Concepts and Measures.” Regulation & Governance 3, no. December (2009)
  • O‚ÄôLeary, John, Sushumna Agarwal, and Angela Welle. “Improving Trust in State and Local Government: Insights from Data.”  Deloitte Insights (2021). Published electronically 21 September.
  • Pink, Sophia L., James Chu, James N. Druckman, David G. Rand, and Robb Willer. “Elite Party Cues Increase Vaccination Intentions among Republicans.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 118, no. 32 (2021): e2106559118.
  • Project, World Justice. “Rule of Law Index 2021.” Washington, D.C.: WJP, 2021.
  • Schmelz, Katrin. “Enforcement May Crowd out Voluntary Support for Covid-19 Policies, Especially Where Trust in Government Is Weak and in a Liberal Society.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 118, no. 1 (2021): e2016385118.
  • Schmelz, Katrin, and Samuel Bowles. “Overcoming Covid-19 Vaccination Resistance When Alternative Policies Affect the Dynamics of Conformism, Social Norms, and Crowding Out.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 118, no. 25 (2021): e2104912118.
  • Singh, Prerna. “State, Society and Vaccines.” In Seminars About Long-Term Thinking San Francisco: Long Now Foundation, 2021.
  • Tibbets, John H. “How to Convince People to Accept a Covid-19 Vaccine.”  Knowable (2021). Published electronically March 31.
  • Tufekci, Zeynep. “The Unvaccinated May Not Be Who Think.” New York Times, 15 October 2021.
  • Uslu, Ata, David  Lazer, Roy H.  Perlis, Matthew Baum, Alexi  Quintana, Katherine Ognyanova, James Druckman, et al. The Covid States Project #63: The Decision to Not Get Vaccinated, from the Perspective of the Unvaccinated.  OSF Preprints, 2021. doi:10.31219/
  • Capano, Giliberto, Michael Howlett, Darryl S.L. Jarvis, M. Ramesh, and Nihit Goyal. 2020. ‚ÄúMobilizing Policy (In)Capacity to Fight COVID-19: Understanding Variations in State Responses.‚ÄĚ Policy and Society, 1‚Äď24.
  • Forster, Timon and Heinzel, Mirko 2021. “Reacting, fast and slow: how world leaders shaped government responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.” Journal of European Public Policy, Vol. 28, Issue. 8, p. 1299.
  • Greer, SL, et al. Coronavirus politics: The comparative politics and policy of COVID-19, University of Michigan Press, 2021.
  • Yang, Hai, ‚ÄúContesting Legitimacy of Global Governance Institutions: The Case of the World Health Organization During the Coronavirus Pandemic.‚ÄĚ International Studies Review, 2021.


(Times refer to UTC)

15:00 – 15:05Welcome by Dianne M. Pinderhughes, President of the International Political Science Association (IPSA)
15:05 – 15:10Introduction to the topic by Craig Calhoun, moderator
15:10 – 15:45Keynote lecture by Jane Duckett
15:45 – 16:10Comments from the discussants, Q&A
16:10 – 16:15Closing remarks


Jane Duckett, Keynote speaker

Jane Duckett is Edward Caird Chair of Politics and Director of the Scottish Centre for China Research at the University of Glasgow. She is a Fellow of the British Academy (2016), the Royal Society of Edinburgh (2019), and the Academy of Social Sciences (2019). From 2014-2017 she was President of the British Association for Chinese Studies. Professor Duckett studied at Fudan University in Shanghai (1984-5 and 1987-8) and at Nankai University in Tianjin (1992-3). In the late 1980s she worked in the Shanghai office of the American law firm, Paul Weiss. She has also worked in China as a policy and social development consultant on a number of international aid projects. Her research has been funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, the Medical Research Council, The Leverhulme Trust, the British Council, the British Academy, and the European Commission. Her research sits at the intersections of political science, Chinese studies, social and health policy.

Twitter: @j_duckett

Dianne M. Pinderhughes, Welcome

Dianne Pinderhughes is President of the International Political Science Association.  Pinderhughes is Notre Dame Presidential Faculty Fellow at the University of Notre Dame where she is Full Professor in the Department of Political Science and in the Department of Africana Studies.

Pinderhughes’ research addresses inequality with a focus on racial, ethnic and gender politics and public policy in the Americas. She has published or co-authored three books.

Craig CalhounModerator

Craig Calhoun is University Professor of Social Sciences at Arizona State University. Previously, he was Director of the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), President of the Berggruen Institute, and President of the Social Science Research Council. His publications address politics, economics, the impact of technology, and social change.

Margaret Levi, Discussant

Margaret Levi is the Sara Miller McCune Director of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (CASBS) at Stanford, Professor of Political Science, and Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment, Stanford University. She is the winner of the 2019 Johan Skytte Prize.  Her most recent books are In the Interest of Others (Princeton, 2013), co-authored with John Ahlquist, and A Moral Political Economy: Present, Past, Future(Cambridge University Press, 2021), co-authored with Federica Carugati.  She writes about what makes for a trustworthy government and what evokes citizen compliance, consent, and dissent.

Marianne Kneuer, Discussant

Marianne Kneuer is a Full Professor of Comparative Politics at the TU Dresden. Her research focuses on democratization and autocratization, quality of democracy, the impact of digitalization on democracy, e-democracy. Currently she chairs two research projects on solidarity in times of crisis: one on solidarity in migration crisis and one on solidarity in the Covid-19 crisis. Her area expertise refers to Latin America, Southern Europe and Central Eastern Europe. Marianne Kneuer served as President of the International Political Science Association (IPSA) from 2018 to 2021.

Adebayo O. Olukoshi, Discussant

Adebayo Olukoshi holds a PhD in Politics from the University of Leeds and a Bachelor‚Äôs degree in International Studies from Ahmadu Bello University. He is presently a Distinguished Professor at the University of the Witswatersrand. He has previously served as Director for Africa and West Asia of the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance, Director of the UN African Institute for Economic Development and Planning, Interim Executive Director of the Africa Governance Institute, Executive Secretary of the Council for Development of Social Science Research in Africa, Director of Research at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, Senior Research Fellow/Research Programme Coordinator of the Nordic Africa Institute in Uppsala, and Senior Programme Staff at the inter-governmental South Centre. He has held various academic fellowships and won various awards at different stages of his career, including the University of Johannesburg‚Äôs Vice Chancellor‚Äôs Distinguished Award for Global Excellence and Stature.

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