Call for Papers Proposals
Allan McConnell, University of Sydney; Alastair Stark, University of Queensland (Special Issue Guest Editors)
For a special edition of the Journal of European Public Policy, we invite proposals for papers that explore the policy responses that have addressed the COVID-19 crisis. This special issue will seek to deliver insights into the nature and the effectiveness of national and/or international crisis responses to the disease through the application of public policy, governance and crisis management perspectives.
COVID-19 is a highly transmittable and potentially fatal coronavirus. The virus originated in Wuhan in China in December 2019. By late March 2020, there were over 720,000 cases world-wide in 177 countries and regions, with the number of cases escalating on a daily basis. In this short time span, the virus has created a global public health crisis that is unprecedented in living memory. Governments throughout the world have transformed rapidly into a ‘war time-like’ crisis-mode, attempting to diagnose, mitigate and suppress the virus, as well as moderate the cascading effects of disease control on the economy, healthcare systems and vulnerable populations. For millions of individual citizens, particularly those who are highly vulnerable physically, economically, and socially, we are witnessing extraordinary levels of public fear and anxiety. Response measures by governments facing unprecedented stress, have included travel bans, curfews, lock-downs, school closures and emergency budget stimuli and financial aid packages.
The scope of potential contributions is enormous, but we particularly welcome contributions which address responses to COVID-19 using theories, concepts and frameworks that are embedded within the discipline of public policy. Possible areas for empirical analysis are identified below, but we would welcome proposals that seek to examine any aspect of governmental responses to COVID-19 either in individual countries, or via comparative analysis/multi-country illustrations. Response includes pre-emptive responses, as well as responses in the acute stage. Potential themes include but are not limited to:
- Warning signs, anticipation and pandemic preparedness e.g. agenda/institutional/political biases filtering out potential threat of COVID-19, contingency planning based on prior experience (SARS, MERS, Ebola), training/exercises, early interventions or lack thereof) and strategic approaches (such as Singapore/South Korea, US).
- The nature of COVID-19 as a policy challenge e.g. sensemaking of the threat(s) involved in the crisis; ramping up of resources; addressing transboundary threats and spill-over effects across a variety of policy sub-systems; COVID-19 as a super wicked policy problem.
- Policy design and decision making under crisis conditions e.g. decision making under high threat conditions and extreme uncertainty; moral and ethical issues in decision making; the nature of policy tools for COVID-19 crisis management.
- Policy implementation and street-level behaviour e.g. the gap between central policy objectives and local reality; the effectiveness of policy tools on the ground; contingent policy formulation at the front-line.
- Evaluation, learning and accountability e.g. historical lessons ignored/used in COVID-19; intra-crisis learning during the emergency; inter-country learning and mimicry across borders; evaluating response measures prospectively and retrospectively; the politics of post-crisis accountability.
- Narratives, language and symbolic policy output e.g. crisis communication and the role of persuasion in relation to policy measures such as social distancing and panic buying; the role or narratives and metaphors – from war and identity to trajectories and resilience.
- Institutions and governance e.g. the role of emergency powers, inter-governmental and inter-organisational coordination; national policy styles and crisis behaviour; the role of governance traditions during crises.
- Political leadership e.g. leadership personality types and behaviour (such as Trump, Johnson, Merkel, Varadkar); crisis leadership challenges; leadership strategies and their effectiveness.
Expressions of interest consisting of a title, author(s) names and affiliation, and a short abstract (no more than 300 words) should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com by 1st June 2020. Successful authors should have a full article draft by 18 September 2020 with final submissions expected by 27 November 2020 (8,000 words maximum, including all figures, tables and references). All other inquiries ashould be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.