Freedom and pandemic - on the way to a police state?

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The COVID-19 pandemic presents a serious threat to public health. At the same time, measures adopted to combat it can have harmful and discriminatory effects on political rights and civil liberties, caused either intentionally or accidentally .Since the coronavirus outbreak, the condition of democracy and human rights has grown worse in 80 countries around the world according to the Freedom House. Governments have engaged in abuses of power, silenced their critics, undermined institutions and the existing mechanisms of accountability.This is the conclusion of the Freedom House research on the impact of COVID-19 on democracy and human rights which is original and based on a survey of nearly 400 journalists, civil society staff, activists, and other experts as well as research on 192 countries.The research presents the assumption that the COVID-19 pandemic is exacerbating the 14 years of repeated decline in freedom. Not only has democracy weakened in 80 countries, but the problem has become critical in struggling democracies and repressive states. This is also the basis of our presentation.The crisis of democracy is not a new political science subject, neither it is from this century. However, recently the pandemic seems to be the perfect excuse to impose measures that will be hard to reverse. Our presentation will analyse how democracy is being challenged during this pandemic and in order to do this, we will follow the “minimalist” and “electoralist” definition; at the same time, we will review some literature about the crises of democracy and connect this with the four behaviour warning signs made by Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt, that will help to identify a break in democracy.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021
Event27th International Conference of the Council for European Studies - University of Iceland, Reykjavík, Iceland
Duration: 22 Jun 202024 Jun 2020


Conference27th International Conference of the Council for European Studies


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