Pandemic Response and the Cost of Lockdowns brings the vast analytical apparatus of the humanities and social sciences to the task of critically analysing the political decisions taken in 2020–21.

The global response to the COVID-19 pandemic left little time for critical debate about the impact of lockdowns. Across the world, governments claimed to "follow the science", but they rarely paid attention to the humanities and social sciences. Indeed, the absence of these perspectives is symptomatic of a longer-term trend in the marginalisation of the humanities and social sciences in policymaking and public debate. This book exposes the tragic consequences of this omission in 2020–21 and demonstrates the potential for a different path in the future – a path in which we pay attention to power, complexity, and our biases. The authors establish what these disciplines have to offer in a global emergency and how we can ensure they help us avoid the mistakes of 2020–21 in the future.

This original and interdisciplinary book will be of great interest to students, scholars, and researchers throughout the humanities and social sciences, including the fields of philosophy, sociology, anthropology, law, political science, and history, as well as relevant policymakers.

chapter |11 pages


The Role of Humanities and Social Sciences at a Time of Crisis
ByPeter Sutoris, Sinéad Murphy

part Section 1|74 pages

Key Covid Concepts Re-examined

chapter 2|13 pages

Stopping the Spread of Health

BySinéad Murphy

chapter 4|16 pages

Digital Society, Algorithmic Harm, and the Pandemic Response

ByMark Wong

chapter 5|15 pages

Against the Logic of Immunity

Philosophy and the Epidemic
ByMichael Lewis

part Section 2|67 pages

Pandemic Policy and the Global South

chapter 6|13 pages

How the World's Harshest Lockdown Unleashed a Humanitarian Crisis

ByKunal R. Purohit

chapter 7|12 pages

COVID-19 in Angola

Militarization of Lockdown Language and State Policy in Angola
ByFernandes Wanda

chapter 8|13 pages

The Economic Impact of COVID-19 Lockdown Policies in Argentina

ByMaddalena Cevese

chapter 9|13 pages

An analysis of the socioeconomic impacts of the lockdown policy in Ghana

BySamuel Adu-Gyamfi

chapter 10|14 pages

The COVID-19 syndemic and lessons (not) learned from past epidemics

One size doesn't Fit all
ByLlanos Ortiz-Montero

part Section 3|78 pages

Alternative lenses on pandemic response

chapter 11|14 pages

The proportionality of lockdowns

ByKai Möller

chapter 12|24 pages

Lockdowns and intergenerational justice

ByYossi Nehushtan

chapter 13|15 pages

Lockdown Lived Experience, Illness, Power, and Epistemic Injustice 1

ByRoxana Baiasu

chapter 14|11 pages

What We Lost in Lockdown

ByMatthew Ratcliffe

chapter 15|12 pages

Do Lockdowns Work for Women?

The Gendered Impacts of the Pandemic and Policy Responses
ByRose Cook, Aleida Mendes Borges