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Edinburgh Law School contributes to new book on democracy in times of pandemic

Mon 9 November 2020

Democracy In Times of Pandemic Book Cover

Prof Neil Walker and Dr Deval Desai contribute to a new collection of essays on “Democracy in Times of Pandemic: Different Futures Imagined” from Cambridge University Press.

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented an important case study, on a global scale, of how democracy works - and fails to work - today. From leadership to citizenship, from due process to checks and balances, from globalization to misinformation, from solidarity within and across borders to the role of expertise, key democratic concepts both old and new are now being put to the test. The future of democracy around the world is at issue as today's governments manage their responses to the pandemic.

“Democracy in Times of Pandemic: Different Futures Imagined” brings together some of today's most creative thinkers and the essays offer a variety of inquiries into democracy during the global pandemic with a view to imagining post-crisis political conditions.

For the section on Power, Prof Neil Walker argues that the crisis in democratic leadership is currently feeding into and feeding off the “real world” crisis posed by COVID-19 in the essay, “The Crisis of Democratic Leadership in Times of Pandemic.”

Dr Deval Desai of Edinburgh Law School and Prof Shalini Randeria and Dr Christine Lutringer of the Graduate Institute Geneva contributed an essay to the section on Citizens exploring, “Redefining Vulnerability and State-Society Relationships during the COVID-19 Crisis: The Politics of Social Welfare Funds in India and Italy.” Their essay argues that democracy is also being transformed by significant changes in the state’s fiscal arrangements and its political economy.

Democracy in Times of Pandemic: Different Futures Imagined” is edited by Prof Miguel Poiares Maduro (European University Institute) and Prof Paul W. Kahn (Yale University) and published by Cambridge University Press.