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Populism, pestilence and plague in the time of Coronavirus

Mannion, Russell and Speed, Ewen (2021) 'Populism, pestilence and plague in the time of Coronavirus.' International Journal of Human Rights in Healthcare. ISSN 2056-4902

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Abstract

Purpose To explore right wing populist government responses to the coronavirus pandemic. Design/methodology/approach A narrative overview of right-wing populist policies and strategies which is loosely structured around fascistic themes set out in Albert Camus’ allegorical novel, The Plague. Findings Although individual responses to the coronavirus pandemic among right-wing populists differ, they appear to coalesce around four central themes: initial denial and then mismanagement of the pandemic; the disease being framed as primarily an economic rather than a public health crisis; a contempt for scientific and professional expertise; and the ‘othering’ of marginal groups for political ends. Populist responses to the pandemic have given rise to increased levels of xenophobia, the violation of human rights and the denigration of scientific expertise. Research limitations This is a narrative overview from a personal viewpoint. Originality Drawing on themes in Camus' novel The Plague, this is a personal perspective on right wing populist government responses to the coronavirus pandemic. Populist responses to the pandemic have given rise to increased levels of intolerance and xenophobia and the violation of human rights and civil liberties.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Health and Social Care, School of
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 01 Dec 2020 10:26
Last Modified: 20 Jan 2021 18:15
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/29232

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