Call for Papers - The Covid-19 Crisis and Democracy in Europe: Revealing, Destabilising, Transforming?

The biannual scientific journal L’Europe en formation invites would-be contributors to submit proposals for a forthcoming thematic issue on the Covid-19 crisis and democracy in Europe, to be published at the end of 2021.

The Covid-19 pandemic has been labelled by politicians and commentators unanimously as the biggest crisis of policy-making in Europe since the end of World War II. The health systems in practically all European states have been challenged to the maximum. Never before in the post-war era have European citizens been subject to such drastic restrictions of fundamental freedoms. The repercussions of the various shutdowns on the economy and on employment are disastrous; their consequences for schooling, higher education and wellbeing of the citizens cannot yet be measured.

At the same time, the Covid-19 crisis represents an enormous challenge for European democracy, as it has revealed the strengths and weaknesses of our different political systems. The capabilities of democratically elected leaders have been put into question. Many countries have reverted to emergency decision-making in order to swiftly respond to the crisis, by giving the Executive priority over the Legislative branch. In many states, demands to drastically reform the political system have been expressed: in centralised states, one has asked for a more regionalised, targetted policy response to the pandemic, whereas in federal states, the call for a more harmonised approach was heard. Some states have granted a strong role to scientific experts and their policy advice, whereas elsewhere leaders publicly doubted the pertinence of medical expertise for political choices. The EU also went through ups and downs during the Covid-19 crisis: first subject to unjustified criticism for being inactive, then experiencing an extraordinary boost with the creation of the recovery fund, and again being severely attacked for badly organising the procurement of vaccines.

Contributions are accepted from researchers and practitioners from all fields of social sciences, and can be written in English or French. Interdisciplinary contributions are encouraged, as well as theoretical, conceptual and methodological approaches.

Proposals (in English or French) should be submitted by 15 June 2021, to the chief editor and the co-ordinator of the thematic issue, at the following addresses: and  

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