COVID-19 Lockdown Defiance, Public ‘Indiscipline’, and Criminalisation of Vulnerable Populations in Ghana

30 Pages Posted: 10 Jan 2022

See all articles by Festival Godwin Boateng

Festival Godwin Boateng

Centre for Sustainable Urban Development, Earth Institute - Columbia University; Centre for Sustainable Urban Development

Saviour Kusi

Independent

Samuel Ametepey

Independent

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: November 25, 2021

Abstract

Behavioural economics has provided much source of inspiration for public policy in the COVID-19 era. Such is evidently the state of discussion in Ghana, where Ghanaians' so-called stubborn resistance to positive behavioural change is increasingly the target of public and popular criticisms. This paper argues that further to legitimising the police violence and extrajudicial sanctions meted out to ‘undisciplined’ violators of the restrictions, the indiscipline narrative leaps too quickly from an account of the personal morality/attitudes of Ghanaians to the collective action of mass-defiance of the restrictions without taking adequate account of the range of structural constraints that made it difficult for the majority of the people to comply with the restrictions. The mass defiance of the restrictions is best understood in the context of the unequal outcomes of the broader policy processes and practices, and the historical-institutional power dynamics around them that put some people in criminogenic situations in the country. It is important that media and policy analyses of public defiance of the restrictions and social problems in the country generally move beyond the simplistic notion of indiscipline to dissect how deliberate bias against the needs of the majority operates, and is institutionalised in policy and practice in ways that undermine their commitment to rules and regulations.

JEL Classification: H7, J6, R1, R2, R3

Suggested Citation

Boateng, Festival Godwin and Kusi, Saviour and Ametepey, Samuel, COVID-19 Lockdown Defiance, Public ‘Indiscipline’, and Criminalisation of Vulnerable Populations in Ghana (November 25, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4001957 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4001957

Festival Godwin Boateng (Contact Author)

Centre for Sustainable Urban Development, Earth Institute - Columbia University ( email )

NY
United States

Centre for Sustainable Urban Development ( email )

314 Low Library
535 West 116th Street, MC 4327
New York, NY 10027
United States

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.earth.columbia.edu/users/profile/festival-godwin-boateng

Saviour Kusi

Independent

Samuel Ametepey

Independent

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