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PARI is delighted to announce the publication of the new book edited by Federica Duca and Sarah Meny-Gibert, State-Society Relations Around the World through the Lens of the Covid-19 Pandemic: Rapid Test.

The book was preceded by a series of articles published by PARI: Covid-19 States and Societies | Social Contracts Around the World

The collection examines state–society relations during the COVID-19 pandemic, from governance at the outset of the pandemic to vaccine rollouts, via a series of case studies from around the world. With a focus on the Global South, the book includes chapters on the experiences of – Angola, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Bolivia, Argentina, Brazil, Jamaica and Indonesia as well as contributions from the Global North – on Sweden, Canada, Czech Republic and New Zealand.

The collection demonstrates that the effects of the pandemic can only be properly revealed by looking at the regional and local contexts in which states and societies experienced it. Contributors examine themes such as the nature of contemporary democracy, state capacity, the legitimacy of state institutions, and trust in government, questions of social solidarity, and forms and impacts of inequality. Focusing on national (or sub-national) cases, each chapter analyses the underlying forces and structures revealed when the authority of the state is brought to bear on the agency of citizens under emergency conditions. In doing so, contributors embed analysis of pandemic governance in the historical context of each country or region, highlighting how political choices, histories of the state’s treatment of citizens and the orientations of a region’s elites shaped the actions taken by the state.



Introduction – A ‘Rapid Test’: States and Societies Through the Lens of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Federica Duca and Sarah Meny-Gibert


Part I: Decentering the Pandemic

1. ‘The Country’s Problem Is Not the Coronavirus’: Multiple Crises in Bolivia

Alice Soares Guimarães

2. Recentering the Necropolitics of COVID-19: A Perspective From Angola

Ruy Llera Blanes

3. COVID-19 and Non-State People: Uncompromised Wild Food Consumption in Binga, Zimbabwe

Luzibo Ottilia Munsaka and Vupenyu Dzingirai


Part II: Exclusion and Inequality

4. Viral Contradictions: Canadian Exceptionalism and COVID-19

Adrian Murray

5. Unequal Pandemics: COVID-19 in Jamaica

Doreen Gordon, Moji Anderson, Heather Ricketts and Michael Yee Shui

6. Protecting the Vulnerable? COVID-19 Policy in Sweden

Rebecca Rhodin and Johan Wedel


Part III: State Capacity and Legitimacy


7. Brazil: Tragedy and Political Choices in the Face of COVID-19

José Maurício Domingues

8. COVID-19 and Political Crisis: State Capacity and Defiance in Argentina

María Maneiro and Diego Alejandro Pacheco

9. Negotiating Ritual Life in Indonesia: State and Worship in Times of COVID-19

Clotilde Riotor


Part IV: Trust, Solidarity and Time

10. Mutations of Democracy: Aotearoa New Zealand’s COVID-19 Response

Monique Jonas, Naomi Simon-Kumar and Rachel Simon-Kumar

11. Populist Governance in Times of Crisis: COVID-19 in the Czech Republic

Jiří Kohoutek

12. Rallying the Nation: Institutional Trust and South Africa’s Pandemic Experience

Joleen Steyn Kotze, Narnia Bohler-Muller, Martin Bekker and Ngqapheli Mchunu