This book provides a comprehensive overview of the political impact of the COVID-19 emergency in central and eastern Europe and Eurasia. Offering a theoretical framework linking the authoritarian, post-Soviet institutional legacy with patterns of political behavior, support and governments’ policies, the expert contributors argue that domestic political regimes mediate and shape citizens’ perceptions of public health crises, and the very regimes’ political survival. The authors explore how the pandemic affected regime change, government stability, business groups and civil societies in more than 15 countries of the region from the discovery of the virus to the vaccination rollout. The studies rely on a broad range of empirical evidence from the region – survey, state statistics, ethnography and interviews.

Formulating, explaining and empirically testing the causal mechanisms that drive political accountability and support through a cross-country comparison and in-depth case studies of popular and electoral support attempting to highlight any patterns specific to the region, this book contributes to studies of governance and political accountability in low-trust countries with authoritarian legacies and proclivities. Drawing on an interdisciplinary approach that brings together area studies, history, sociology and political science, it will also be of value to those interested in systematic effect of political regimes on handling public health crises.

chapter |15 pages


Facing the Global Pandemic: Regimes, Governance, and Post-communism

chapter 1|24 pages

(No) Blame for the Crisis

COVID-19 Sceptics and Political Support in Central-Eastern Europe during COVID-19

chapter 3|19 pages

State-Building, the EU, and the COVID-19 Pandemic

The Making of Healthcare Reform in Ukraine

chapter 4|15 pages

Bad Governance in Times of Exogenous Shocks

The Case of the COVID-19 Pandemic in Russia

chapter 6|25 pages

Survival and Adaptation of Small Business in Russia

A Double Blow of Bad Governance and the Pandemic

chapter 7|22 pages

Protest as an Appeal

How and Why Russians Struggled with Vaccinations in 2021

chapter 8|32 pages

The State Failing People's Expectations

Resentment at the Pandemic Policy in Belarus and Kazakhstan