Graeme Davies, Jessica de Alba-Ulloa, Faten Ghosn, Kristian Skrede Gleditsch, Marianne Kneuer, Helen Milner, Etel Solingen

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The COVID-19 pandemic has had a dramatic influence on mortality and public health and generated much speculation on potential impacts on international politics. Fast-moving crises such as the COVID pandemic and 2008 financial crises entail many challenges for scholarship; events evolve rapidly, our prior knowledge base is limited, it is unclear whether existing theories or analogies apply, and new research findings emerge quickly but also erratically. Researchers face demands to engage with policy and general audiences when normal standards of scholarship may be difficult to apply. Crises can also have a dramatic impact on how we conduct research and interact with other scholars. The forum introduction outlines how crises pose challenges for scholarship and policy and the value of approaching crises such as COVID-19 in comparative perspective. Milner highlights the important differences between the immediately observable short-term impact of crises and the more difficult to evaluate long-run impacts. Kneuer examines how crises can impact political change, detailing how COVID countermeasures can serve as a pretext for autocratization and the safeguards afforded by institutions. Solingen examines the impact of serial crises on global value chains and the difficulties in tracing impacts when crises are compounded. De Alba-Ulloa documents how scholars in the Global South and North face similar challenges during the COVID pandemic, but differences in resources to mitigate can exacerbate inequalities. Davies highlights the difficulties in studying public opinion during COVID and need for behavioral data to understand global health emergencies. Ghosn examines dilemmas in interacting with severely affected communities during crises and offers advice on better practices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberviad017
JournalInternational Studies Review
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Political Science and International Relations


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