The COVID-19 pandemic not only ravaged human bodies but also had profound and possibly enduring effects on the health of political and legal systems, economies and societies. Almost overnight, governments imposed the severest restrictions in modern times on rights and freedoms, elections, parliaments and courts. Legal and political institutions struggled to adapt, creating a catalyst for democratic decline and catastrophic increases in poverty and inequality. This handbook analyses the global pandemic response through five themes: governance and democracy; human rights; the rule of law; science, public trust and decision making; and states of emergency and exception. Containing 12 thematic commentaries and 25 chapters on countries of diverse size, wealth and experience of COVID-19, it represents the combined effort of more than 50 contributors, including leading scholars and rising voices in the fields of constitutional, international, public health, human rights and comparative law, as well as political science, and science and technology studies. Taking stock after the onset of global emergency, this book provides essential analysis for politicians, policy-makers, jurists, civil society organisations, academics, students and practitioners at both national and international level on the best, and most concerning, practices adopted in response to COVID-19 – and key insights into how states and multilateral institutions should reform, adapt and prepare for future emergencies.

part I|96 pages

Governance and Democracy

chapter 2|13 pages

COVID-19 Vaccines and Global Governance

How Structural Factors Dictate Procurement and Vitiate Patient Autonomy

chapter 3|12 pages

Accountability through Dialogue

New Zealand's Experience during the First Year of the COVID-19 Pandemic

chapter 4|17 pages

China and COVID-19

An Archetypal Legal and Governmental Response to an Exceptional Challenge

chapter 5|12 pages


The COVID-19 Response in the UK

chapter 7|13 pages

Democracy in the Time of COVID-19

Pandemic Management, Public Trust and Democratic Consolidation in Singapore

part II|100 pages

Human Rights

chapter 10|7 pages

Going Beyond the Rhetoric

Taking Human Rights Seriously in the Post-COVID-19 World

chapter 11|13 pages

Finland's Success in Combatting COVID-19

Mastery, Miracle or Mirage?

chapter 13|12 pages

Dealing with the Pandemic and Social Unrest

A Stress Test for Colombian Institutions

chapter 14|13 pages

Thailand's Response to COVID-19

Human Rights in Decline and More Social Turbulence

part III|88 pages

The Rule of Law

chapter 17|11 pages

Baselining COVID-19

How Do We Assess the Success or Failure of the Responses of Governments to the Pandemic?

chapter 18|12 pages


COVID-19, Illiberal Politics and the Rule of Law

chapter 19|11 pages

Dealing with COVID-19 in Sweden

Choosing a Different Path

chapter 20|11 pages


Pandemic Governance and Executive Aggrandisement

chapter 21|12 pages

The COVID-19 Pandemic

A Pretext for Expanding Power in Hungary

part IV|86 pages

Science, Public Trust and Decision-Making

chapter 23|10 pages

A Stress Test for Politics

A Comparative Perspective on Policy Responses to COVID-19

chapter 27|11 pages

Germany and COVID-19

Expertise and Public Political Deliberation

chapter 29|12 pages

Iran's COVID-19 Response

Who Calls the Shots?

part V|100 pages

States of Emergency and Exception

chapter 30|13 pages

Responding to COVID-19 with States of Emergency

Reflections and Recommendations for Future Health Crises

chapter 32|12 pages

Exposing Inequalities

The Experience of Minorities and Indigenous Peoples During COVID-19 Emergencies

chapter 33|12 pages

When Emergency Is Permanent

Egypt's Legal Response to COVID-19

chapter 34|11 pages

The COVID-19 Emergency

Malaysia's Fragile Constitutional Democracy

chapter 35|11 pages

The French Management of COVID-19

Normalisation of Regimes of Exception and Degradation of the Rule of Law

chapter 36|12 pages

The Philippines under Lockdown

Continuing Executive Dominance and an Unclear Pandemic Response

part |14 pages

Beyond the Pandemic