COVID-19 and Legislative Activity: A Cross-National Study
15 Pages Posted: 2 Jul 2020
Date Written: July 2, 2020
Insufficient attention has been given to studying a vital organ jeopardized by COVID-19: legislatures. Legislatures across the globe have been shut down or limited due to COVID-19. In a comprehensive multidisciplinary study, exploring legislatures across 159 countries, we show that there is no causal relation between the severity of COVID-19 and limitations on legislatures’ operation. This suggests that legislatures are at risk of being shut down either due to unfounded fear from COVID-19 or as an excuse for silencing legislatures. We find that legislatures in healthy democracies are relatively immune to this risk, while those in frail democracies and authoritarian regimes are more at risk of becoming casualties of COVID-19. In partially free countries, the use of technology can mitigate this risk.
Keywords: COVID-19; Coronavirus; parliaments; legislatures; legislative activity
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