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Declarations of state of emergency and government responses to the COVID-19 pandemic


Christian Bjørnskov, University of Aarhus in Denmark
Stefan Voigt, University of Hamburg in Germany and PI at the Minerva Center

Declaring states of emergencies during the corona pandemic: Where and why?


Nir Kosti, PhD candidate at the Department of Political Science, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Does a state of emergency lead to a more restrictive policy?


Monday, May 4, 2020

at 16:30 (Israel time-GMT+3)

Talk is available on YouTube 

See Facebook

Abstract for Nir Kosti's talk: 

More than half of the world’s countries declared a state of emergency (SOE) in response to the COVID-19 pandemic during the last two months. While a SOE grants governments extensive authorities, it is unclear yet whether these powers are used to tackle emergent situations. This talk will discuss the relationship between SOE declarations and the actual policy measures taken by governments in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Using an original dataset SOE declarations in almost 200 countries and the Oxford COVID-19 Government Response Tracker (OxCGRT), I show that a SOE does not necessarily associate with the level of policy restrictiveness taken in response to the COVID-19. Countries that declared a SOE did not apply more stringent measures than countries that did not. These findings imply that in some cases, governments did not use SOE declarations to cope with the coronavirus pandemic, but to gain more powers than they had before the pandemic hit. The implications of these findings will be discussed.

Short Bio

Nir Kosti is a PhD candidate in the Political Science department at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and a fellow in the Advanced Graduate Studies Program ("Telem"). His PhD research, supervised by Prof. David Levi-Faur, examines the legislative and regulatory productivity in Israel and the United Kingdom.

For more details, contact Michal at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  


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