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The Covid-19 Pandemic in the United Kingdom: A Tale of Convergence and Divergence

Anderson, P (2021) The Covid-19 Pandemic in the United Kingdom: A Tale of Convergence and Divergence. In: Steytler, N, (ed.) Comparative Federalism and Covid-19. Routledge. ISBN 9781003166771

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This chapter examines the response of the United Kingdom (UK) to the Covid-19 pandemic during the first wave of infections from January to October 2020. In Western Europe, the UK was one of the worst affected countries during the first wave of the pandemic, registering more than 46,000 deaths by the end of October 2020. Taking into account the UK's devolved constitutional framework, this chapter highlights the territorial dynamics in play during the first wave of the pandemic. It traces the evolution of the UK response, from a coordinated effort between all four governments in England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland to curtail the spread of the virus at the beginning of the pandemic, to a disjointed approach in relation to lifting restrictions in early summer 2020. The findings demonstrate how the pandemic raised the profile of devolution more than any other event since the establishment of the devolved legislatures in the late 1990s. They point also to a limp federal spirit, particularly in the context of collaboration at both national and local levels, and consider the ramifications of the pandemic and perception of government responses for the future terrain of territorial politics in the UK.

Item Type: Book Section
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe)
K Law > K Law (General)
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Divisions: Humanities & Social Science
Publisher: Routledge
Date Deposited: 07 Dec 2021 13:00
Last Modified: 07 Dec 2021 13:00
DOI or ID number: 10.4324/9781003166771
Editors: Steytler, N
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/15890
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