Pandemic Politics within a System of Entangled Political Economy

39 Pages Posted: 28 Aug 2020

See all articles by Marta Podemska-Mikluch

Marta Podemska-Mikluch

Gustavus Adolphus College

Richard E. Wagner

George Mason University - Department of Economics; George Mason University - Mercatus Center

Date Written: August 27, 2020

Abstract

This essay uses the analytical lens crafted through the vision of entangled political economy to explore the ways in which concerns over Covid-19 have influenced conduct within the public square of social life. By entangled political economy we refer to a scheme of thought articulated by two theorists associated with the University of Chicago, Frank Knight (1933) and Harold Lasswell (1936). Entanglement represents a merging of ideas that Knight and Lasswell set forth wherein interaction among political and commercial entities generate the phenomenon of entangled political economy. With respect to Covid-19, entanglement is compared against Michael Polanyi’s (1962) conceptualization of a Republic of Science. The point of this paper is not to offer some critique of various policy measures but is rather to advance our understanding of how democratic societies operate in stressful times. Our societal environment is one where there is no unambiguously one-best answer to the problems associated with Covid-19 because people differ in what they know or think they know. These difference in beliefs frame the process of democratic contestation, and with the social problem residing in the organizational form of that contestation.

Keywords: Public policy, political theory, Covid-19; uncertainty; public policy as an emergent phenomenon; entangled political economy; epistemic institutions

JEL Classification: A14, D73, H12, H41, P16

Suggested Citation

Podemska-Mikluch, Marta and Wagner, Richard E., Pandemic Politics within a System of Entangled Political Economy (August 27, 2020). GMU Working Paper in Economics No. 20-32, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3682167 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3682167

Marta Podemska-Mikluch

Gustavus Adolphus College ( email )

800 West College Ave.
Saint Peter, MN Mn 56082
United States
(507) 933-6120 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.podemska.com

Richard E. Wagner (Contact Author)

George Mason University - Department of Economics ( email )

4400 University Drive
334 Enterprise Hall
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States
(703) 993-1132 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://mason.gmu.edu/~rwagner/

George Mason University - Mercatus Center ( email )

3434 Washington Blvd., 4th Floor
Arlington, VA 22201
United States

HOME PAGE: http://ppe.mercatus.org/scholars/richard-wagner

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