“The COVID-19 pandemic represents a dual challenge for public health and democracy. It is an opportunity for democratic decay because states of emergency significantly expand executive power and enable temporary curbs on civil liberties in the name of public health. It is also an opportunity for democratic resilience if four conditions are present—free press critically assessing information by the government; independent courts making sure mitigation measures and restrictions remain within the constitutional framework; effective parliamentary opposition performing government oversight; and active civil society mobilizing to defend democracy. More data is needed to compare various regime types and establish causal links between the efficiency of different regime types in handling the pandemic. The argument put forward here is that future research should investigate the costs of pandemic measures in terms of democracy, as well as public health.”

The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic in Central and Eastern Europe: The Rise of Autocracy and Democratic Resilience
Petra Guasti
Democratic Theory [journal]