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Pandemocracy in Europe

Power, Parliaments and People in Times of COVID-19

Editor(s): Matthias C Kettemann, Konrad Lachmayer
Media of Pandemocracy in Europe
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Published: 30-12-2021
Format: Hardback
Edition: 1st
Extent: 448
ISBN: 9781509946365
Imprint: Hart Publishing
Dimensions: 234 x 156 mm
RRP : £85.00

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Loren Epson

About Pandemocracy in Europe

This open access book explains why a democratic reckoning will start when European societies win the fight against COVID-19.

Have democracies successfully mastered the challenges of the pandemic? How has the coronavirus impacted democratic principles, processes and values? At the heels of the worst public health crisis in living memory, this book shines an unforgiving light on the side-lining of parliaments, the ruling by governmental decrees and the disenfranchisement of the people in the name of fighting COVID-19.

Pandemocracy in Europe situates the dramatic impact of COVID-19, and the fight against the virus, on Europe's democracies. Throughout its 17 contributions the book sets the theoretical stage and answers the democratic questions engaged by health emergencies. Seven national case studies – UK, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Hungary, Switzerland, and France – show, each time with a pronounced focus on a particular element of democracy, how different states reacted to the pandemic. The book also shifts the analytical gaze beyond the nation state towards international settings, looking at the effects on the European Union and considering the impact on populist movements.

Bridging disciplines and uniting a stellar cast of scholars on democracy, rule of law and constitutionalism, the book provides contours and nuances to a year of debates in political science, international relations and law on the impact of the virus on democracies.

In times of uncertainty, Pandemocracy in Europe provides analysis and answers to the democratic challenges of the coronavirus.

The open access edition of this book is available under a CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 licence on

Table Of Contents

Introduction: Democracy in Times of COVID-19
Matthias C Kettemann (Leibniz Institute for Media Research, Germany) and Konrad Lachmayer (Sigmund Freud University Vienna, Austria)

Part I: The Theory – Power, People, and the Crisis
1. Lawless Extravagance: The Primacy Claim of Politics and the State of Exception in Times of COVID-19
Paul Gragl (University of Graz, Austria)
2. Abuse of Power and Self-Entrenchment as a State Response to the COVID-19 Outbreak: The Role of Parliaments, Courts and the People
Antonios Kouroutakis (IE University Madrid, Spain)
3. Democracy, Death and Dying: The Potential and Limits of Legal Rationalisation
Konrad Lachmayer (Sigmund Freud University Vienna, Austria)

Part II: The Practice Democracies and the Pandemic
4. Virus Governance in the United Kingdom
Robert Thomas (University of Manchester, UK)
5. Germany - Federalism in Action
Pierre Thielbörger (Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany)
6. The Marginalisation of Parliament in Facing the Coronavirus Emergency: What about Democracy in Italy?
Arianna Vedaschi (Bocconi University, Italy)
7. Swedish Constitutional Response to the Corona Crisis – The Odd One Out?
Jane Reichel (Stockholm University, Sweden) and Julia Dahlqvist (Stockholm University, Sweden)
8. Using Emergency Powers in Hungary: Against the Pandemic and/or Democracy?
Fruzsina Gárdos-Orosz (ELTE Law School, Hungary) and Zoltán Szente (University of Public Service, Hungary)
9. Switzerland: The (Missing) Role of Parliament in Times of Crisis
Felix Uhlmann (University of Zurich, Switzerland) and Odile Ammann (University of Zurich, Switzerland)
10. The Hyper-Executive State of Emergency in France
Sylvia Brunet (University of Rouen Normandie, France)

Part III: Beyond States: Democratic Governance in Times of COVID-19
11. Pandemics, Expertise and Deliberation at the International Level
Pedro Villareal (Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law, Germany)
12. EU-Response to Fighting Corona - Coordination, Support, Action – Heeding its Citizens' Calls?
Anja Sophie Margot Naumann (Queen Mary University of London, UK)
13. Pandemics and Platforms: Private Governance of (Dis)Information in Crisis Situations
Matthias C Kettemann (Leibniz Institute for Media Research, Germany) and Marie-Therese Sekwenz (Vienna University of Economics and Business, Austria)
14. Digital Human Rights Proportionality During Global Crises
Mart Susi (Tallinn University, Estonia)

Part IV: Conclusions: Pandemics, Populism and Power
15. The Pandemic and Illiberal Constitutional Theories
Gábor Halmai (European University Institute, Italy)
16. Populism versus Democracy During a Pandemic: Some Preliminary Considerations
Jan-Werner Müller (Princeton University, USA)
17. Pandemocracy – Governing for the People without the People?
Matthias C Kettemann (Leibniz Institute for Media Research, Germany) and Konrad Lachmayer (Sigmund Freud University Vienna, Austria)

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