Pandemic Politics within a System of Entangled Political Economy
39 Pages Posted: 28 Aug 2020
Date Written: August 27, 2020
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: Suggested Citation