Rights and Deaths: Government Reactions to the Pandemic Institutional Repository Document uri icon


  • Democracies reacted slower than autocracies to the specter of the pandemic, and the most solidly democratic among them were particularly slow to react. We examine at which stages of the spread of the Covid governments introduced four measures that to varying degree abrogate liberal rights: school closings, bans on public meetings, compulsory lockdowns, and shutting work. We conclude that where rights are entrenched, encroaching on them is difficult. Yet we are struck that when the threat of death became sufficiently severe, many democracies resorted to the same measures as autocracies. Still, the reactions of democracies were highly heterogenous and we are unable to account for this heterogeneity.

altmetric score

  • 0.25

author list (cited authors)

  • Cheibub, J. A., Hong, J., & Przeworski, A.

citation count

  • 5

complete list of authors

  • Cheibub, Jose Antonio||Hong, Ji Yeong Jean||Przeworski, Adam

Book Title

  • SocArXiv

publication date

  • July 2020