Many large democracies are now at their highest-ever recorded level for democratic dissatisfaction, including the UK, US, Brazil, Mexico and Australia A report released in January 2020 by the new Centre for the Future ofRead more
How appropriate is behavioural economics as a basis for making public policy? Sould it be called ‘science’? What does the evidence tell us? Published in The Guardian on 26 April 2020, this article is aRead more
David McCoy is a professor of Global Public Health and director of the Centre for Public Health at Queen Mary University of London. In this article published in The Guardian on 10 April 2020, heRead more
In an article published 5 April 2020 in The Irish Times, The Hague-based Peter Cluskey focuses on the issue of ‘herd immunity’ in the Dutch context. Is “herd immunity” – the idea that a virusRead more
In an article in The Guardian, David Runciman shows how the pandemic has removed “one layer of political life to reveal something more raw underneath”. He writes, “As Hobbes knew, to exercise political rule isRead more
This paper provides a summary of the recent Standard & Poor’s (S&P) economic forecast for the euro area (assessing the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak); some recent analyses of the macroeconomic effects of the coronavirus;Read more
The UK’s biological security strategy, published in 2018 to address the threat of pandemics, was not properly implemented, according to a former government chief scientific adviser. Professor Sir Ian Boyd, who advised the environment departmentRead more
A moral dilemma is a situation in which a person is faced with two mutually exclusive choices and urgent reasons to choose each of them. And in the case of COVID-19, medical personnel are beingRead more
Published in The Irish Times (and The Financial Times) on 24 March 2020, Martin Wolf focuses on the choices decision-makers face, writing that COVID-19 is not just an economic challenge, it is an ethical one.Read more
Writing in The Guardian, Jonathan Freedland reflects on the speed at the which the national life of the United Kingdom has been sompletely transformed. Each day has brought news that, in normal times, would constituteRead more
Writing in The Guardian, George Monbiot sees some common threads in the approaches to COVID-19 of the UK, US and Australian governments. The worst possible people are in charge at the worst possible time. InRead more
Seeping faintly through the pronouncements and policies of some government responses to the coronavirus pandemic are the vapours of older belief systems; a whiff of utilitarianism, the scent of social Darwinism, and the fetid reek of eugenics.
Closer examination of the UK government’s ‘herd immunity’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic suggests that it’s not too farfetched to connect contemporary politics with these ostensibly outdated ideas.
The capacity of governments to respond appropriately to crises has never been more important. How will they respond to greater crises? Where will they find their moral moorings?Read more