COVID-19 Meets Politics: The Novel Coronavirus as a Novel Challenge for Legislatures

The Theory and Practice of Legislation vol. 8 (Forthcoming)

Bar Ilan University Faculty of Law Research Paper No. 20-08

37 Pages Posted: 8 Jun 2020 Last revised: 21 Jul 2020

Date Written: May 17, 2020

Abstract

Much attention has been given to the challenge posed by the covid-19 pandemic to people’s health, to public health systems and to the global economy. Insufficient attention has been given to the challenge posed by the 2019 novel coronavirus to legislatures, the vital organ of democracy. This article develops a comprehensive analysis of the multiple ways in which the pandemic challenges legislatures and their operation, drawing on illustrative examples from various countries around the world. It argues that covid-19 poses a unique and complex challenge for legislatures; resulting from the characteristics of this pandemic and the ways they interact with the fundamental institutional features of legislatures; the typical demographic traits of legislators; the psychological biases that can prejudice legislatures’ ability to evaluate the risk; and the effects of emergencies on legislatures. The article then delves into an in-depth case study analysis of Israel to analyze how the pandemic particularly challenges parliaments in countries where covid-19 coincides with a pre-existing political crisis. By understanding the complex challenges posed by covid-19 on parliaments, we can help ensure that parliaments, and perhaps ultimately democracy itself, would not become casualties of covid-19.

Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; Coronavirus; Corona virus; novel Coronavirus; pandemic; parliaments; legislatures; legislative activity; legislative oversight; Knesset; Israel; risk perceptions

Suggested Citation

Bar-Siman-Tov, Ittai, COVID-19 Meets Politics: The Novel Coronavirus as a Novel Challenge for Legislatures (May 17, 2020). The Theory and Practice of Legislation vol. 8 (Forthcoming), Bar Ilan University Faculty of Law Research Paper No. 20-08, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3603137 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3603137

Ittai Bar-Siman-Tov (Contact Author)

Bar-Ilan University Law Faculty ( email )

Faculty of Law
Ramat Gan, 52900
Israel
972-3-7387071 (Phone)
972-3-7384096 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://law.biu.ac.il/en/node/1726#tabs-tabset-1

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