Jeff Hearn (email@example.com) is: Professor Emeritus, Hanken School of Economics, Finland; Professor of Sociology, University of Huddersfield, UK; and Senior Professor, Human Geography, Örebro University, Sweden
One of the problems with talking about crisis is that the term is over-used, especially in newspaper headlines, and celebrity and sports pages. Against this, there are dire crises – of people, societies, ecosystems, and the planet. Indeed, as I write, there is threat of war in Europe – threatening the largest armed conflict there since the Yugoslav wars 1991-2001. The current threat certainly constitutes crisis.
Global Discourse Editor, Matthew Johnson interviews Professor Philip Pettit about the implications of the COVID-19 Pandemic on government. They discuss the new special issue of Global Discourse on ‘COVID-19 and the Politics of Fear’, the three pillars of democracy and when government should act on public fears.
A Review of Deep Adaptation: Navigating the Realities of Climate Chaosedited by Jem Bendell and Rupert Read (Polity, 2021)
John Foster (firstname.lastname@example.org). John Foster’s new book Realism and the Climate Crisis: Hope for Life will be published in February 2022 by Bristol University Press.
There are dangers in the recently fashionable notion of Deep Adaptation, and this book exhibits them very clearly. That is not its only contribution – it also contains some brave and timely argument and advocacy – but it is certainly an important one as the anticipated drastic consequences of climate destabilisation become both more imminent and less ignorable.
Matthew Parris is a former Conservative MP, Times and Spectator columnist and BBC broadcaster
[Editor’s note: This is one of a series of blog pieces on our spring issue, ‘COVID-19 and the Politics of Fear‘, edited by Matt Flinders, Dan Degerman and Matthew Johnson]
At home and abroad, the 2020-2021 Covid-19 pandemic may be interpreted as a power-grab by government over the populace. There’s no denying this. That is what has happened.
It is possible to call this a conspiracy by politicians. Fear of death and disease (runs the argument) is used to anaesthetise people’s normal appetite for individual liberty, and then, having stupefied our freedom-loving instincts, to leave us in an induced coma from which we never recover. Just as income tax was first used to raise money to pay for the Napoleonic wars but never subsequently discarded, so (you hear people say) a dangerous virus is being used to establish the principle that when and why we may leave home, whether or how we congregate, and even for what reasons we’re permitted to leave the country, have become legitimate matters for government. So once the pandemic is over, new reasons may be found for government to keep old powers that they enjoy exercising, whether justifiably or not.
Fear has played a significant role in our experience of the pandemic. So often ignored and downplayed, how should we be engaging with this emotion and thinking about it in the context of policy and politics?
In this episode of the Transforming Society podcast, Jess Miles speaks with Matt Flinders, co-editor of the latest themed issue of Global Discourse, about the role of fear in politics and public policy.