President's Plenary: The Impact of Covid-19 on Democracy

Plenary Sessions

IPSA President's Plenary Session - Roundtable

Chair: Prof. Dr. Marianne Kneuer


Prof. Sheri Berman (USA)
Prof. Annie Chikwanha (South Africa)
Prof. Ivan Krastev (Bulgaria)
Prof. Maria Herminia Tavares de Almeida (Brazil)
Prof. Julio Teehankee (Phillippines)

Democracy has already been under stress before the Covid-19 pandemic. Developments like the erosion of young democracies have raised concerns over a decade or so, but recently this also refers to established democracies. In the wake of the Covid-19 crisis, all governments were/are called upon to take emergency measures, most of which represent far-reaching interventions in public life, including democratic rights, and challenge the interplay between the executive and legislative branches. But to what extent does this unprecedented health emergency provide an opportunity for governments to accelerate and intensify democratic erosion processes that are already underway, or to expand autocratic practices that are already in place? At the same time, in the wake of the pandemic, established democracies face the challenge not only of justifying massive encroachments on the civil liberties of their citizens, but also of preventing a drift into authoritarian conditions.

This panel aims to shed light on the different effects Covid-19 might have had on a global scale. For this purpose, the participants of this plenary cover all regions and will address the topic from their regional perspective allowing a comparative panorama.