Editor’s Choice May 2021: COVID-19 and the Politics of Fear

Matthew Johnson, Matthew Flinders, Dan Degerman

Research output: Other contribution


This Editor’s Choice features contributions examining the (mis-)management of the pandemic. A year ago, we (Flinders, Degerman and Johnson) came together out of shared concern for the place of emotions in politics and shared belief that many orthodoxies on fear as an instrument of public administration were just wrong. As the pandemic worked its way through communities and countries across the globe, it became increasingly clear that long-standing rejections of fear as a negative or pre-political emotion failed to grasp not just its adaptive evolutionary value, but the vital role it can play in enabling societies to deal with crises. We set out the ways in which key frames of analysis had been rendered inadequate by the pandemic. Our conclusion was that, as a consequence, there was space for new scholarship on the politics of fear. This issue is the most substantive iteration of that work.
Original languageEnglish
TypeIntroduction to themed issue
Media of outputGlobal Discourse Blog
PublisherBristol University Press
Publication statusPublished - 7 May 2021
Externally publishedYes


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