Populism and state responses to COVID-19

by Kerim Can Kavakli 

What has shaped government reactions to the COVID-19 pandemic? In this project, I investigate the relationship between a government's ideology and its response to the COVID-19 pandemic. For this purpose I collected new and up-to-date data on government ideology around the world.

In PAPER 1, I show that populist governments took fewer containment and health system measures against the coronavirus in the early months of the pandemic.

In PAPER 2, I show that populist governments have committed more violations of democratic norms while managing the crisis. In particular, more populist governments have implemented more restrictions on free media and disinformation campaigns. This paper is submitted to the journal Perspectives on Politics.

The Paper: "Populist Incumbents and Democratic Backsliding during the COVID-19 Pandemic"