Taming COVID-19 by Regulation: An Opportunity for Self-Reflection

European Journal of Risk Regulation, Issue 2/2020

HEC Paris Research Paper No. LAW-2020-1373

13 Pages Posted: 29 Apr 2020 Last revised: 7 Jul 2020

Date Written: April 28, 2020


The COVID-19 outbreak offers a rich case study of government’s emergency response. As such, it is a test bed for risk research and regulatory theories in a world increasingly shaped by transboundary, uncertain manufactured and natural risks.

This introductory essay to the special issue of the European Journal of Risk Regulation attempts at providing an initial analysis of the surprisingly uncoordinated, at times unscientific, response to an essentially foreseeable event like a novel coronavirus (nCoV) in a geopolitically shattered world.

It warns that COVID-19 may go down in history as yet another major disaster occurrence with no learnings attached. Yet, as new transboundary disasters – from bioterrorism to climate change – loom on the horizon, neither the world nor risk regulation, as a discipline and practice of government, can hardly afford to let another crisis go wasted.

Keywords: Risk Regulation, COVID-19, EU law, Precautionary principle, Cost-benefit analysis, Emergency Regulation, Worst-case scenarios, Risk vs risk, Tradeoffs

JEL Classification: K3, K32, K33

Suggested Citation

Alemanno, Alberto, Taming COVID-19 by Regulation: An Opportunity for Self-Reflection (April 28, 2020). European Journal of Risk Regulation, Issue 2/2020, HEC Paris Research Paper No. LAW-2020-1373, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3587328 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3587328

Alberto Alemanno (Contact Author)

HEC Paris ( email )

1 Rue de la libération

HOME PAGE: http://www.albertoalemanno.eu

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