Thinking and working politically: COVID-19 as a critical juncture for political governance
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted not only the health and economic systems of countries, but also the nature and effectiveness of the systems of governance. COVID-19 is a test of global social and political systems, and how we react now has implications for longer-term impacts. The Ebola crisis has taught us that it is the political, economic and social processes – and not the virus itself – that shape the governance systems that respond to an epidemic. As a global health crisis, COVID-19 indeed shocked democratic institutions and offered governments a stimulus to use emergency powers, curtailing individual and collective political rights in the short- and potentially long-term. In Africa, critics consider COVID-19 a threat to the whole of society that requires a response involving the whole of society. They warned that “trying to move fast without having a cooperative public in tow is a recipe for failure”.
Indeed, one of the most pressing governance worries of the time is: What could happen to state-society relations and the functioning of states once the pandemic has been brought under control? How will the unprecedented actions governments are now taking impact state-society relationships in the long-term? As a critical juncture, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to better understand the opportunities as well as the threats to political governance in order to push for much needed reforms, support innovations, and address the long-term threats to political and democratic governance.
The Knowledge Platform on Security and Rule of Law and CARE Nederland invite you to an online brainstorming discussion with development practitioners (DSH-partner INGOs and CSOs), key researchers, and policy experts engaged in governance. The objective of the session is to jointly reflect and share insights on the opportunities and threats COVID-19 presents from a governance perspective and on how development actors can support more effective governance. This online discussion intends to inform:
- adaptations including integration of governance in the COVID-19 response of DSH partners;
- dialogues with donor agencies on the importance of remaining “politically smart” and sensitive to local dynamics in building back better in the long-term; and
- a research agenda that will help shape long-term responses to the governance impacts of COVID-19.
*Correction: This event will be taking place on Friday June 12th, not Thursday as previously incorrectly written.