Search results for: pandemics-and-polarization

Pandemics and Polarization

Author : Nathan Myers
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Partisan divisions over policy in the U.S. Congress and rising disease threats put millions of Americans at risk. The Zika public health emergency is used to illustrate the key functions of coordination, providing countermeasures, and engaging in disease surveillance which the government must engage in during such an emergency. The author looks at how the standoff over Zika funding negatively affected the government’s response within federal agencies, as well as at the state and local level. Also examined in the book are serious threats still on the horizon that are expected to require strong government action in the future. Possible policies to avoid future gridlock are considered.

Political Polarization Social Fragmentation and Cooperation During a Pandemic

Author : Kirsten Cornelson
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Affective Polarization Did Not Increase During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Author : Levi Boxell
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We document trends in affective polarization during the coronavirus pandemic. In our main measure, affective polarization is relatively flat between July 2019 and February 2020, then falls significantly around the onset of the pandemic. Two other data sources show no evidence of an increase in polarization around the onset of the pandemic. Finally, we show in an experiment that priming respondents to think about the coronavirus pandemic significantly reduces affective polarization.

Polarization and Public Health

Author : Hunt Allcott
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We study partisan differences in Americans' response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Political leaders and media outlets on the right and left have sent divergent messages about the severity of the crisis, which could impact the extent to which Republicans and Democrats engage in social distancing and other efforts to reduce disease transmission. We develop a simple model of a pandemic response with heterogeneous agents that clarifies the causes and consequences of heterogeneous responses. We use location data from a large sample of smartphones to show that areas with more Republicans engage in less social distancing, controlling for other factors including state policies, population density, and local COVID cases and deaths. We then present new survey evidence of significant gaps between Republicans and Democrats in beliefs about personal risk and the future path of the pandemic.

Job Polarization in Canada

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Pandemic Politics

Author : Shana Kushner Gadarian
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How the politicization of the pandemic endangers our lives—and our democracy COVID-19 has killed more people than any war or public health crisis in American history, but the scale and grim human toll of the pandemic were not inevitable. Pandemic Politics examines how Donald Trump politicized COVID-19, shedding new light on how his administration tied the pandemic to the president’s political fate in an election year and chose partisanship over public health, with disastrous consequences for all of us. Health is not an inherently polarizing issue, but the Trump administration’s partisan response to COVID-19 led ordinary citizens to prioritize what was good for their “team” rather than what was good for their country. Democrats, in turn, viewed the crisis as evidence of Trump’s indifference to public well-being. At a time when solidarity and bipartisan unity were sorely needed, Americans came to see the pandemic in partisan terms, adopting behaviors and attitudes that continue to divide us today. This book draws on a wealth of new data on public opinion to show how pandemic politics has touched all aspects of our lives—from the economy to race and immigration—and puts America’s COVID-19 response in global perspective. An in-depth account of a uniquely American tragedy, Pandemic Politics reveals how the politicization of the COVID-19 pandemic has profound and troubling implications for public health and the future of democracy itself.

Coronavirus Disease COVID 19 Psychological Reactions to the Pandemic

Author : Joanna Sokolowska
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Democracy Amid Crises

Author : Kathleen Hall Jamieson
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A data-rich analysis of how the four inter-related crises of 2020 -- the COVID-19 pandemic, the economic collapse and K-shaped recovery, the clashes over the legacy of racism and policing, and assaults on the legitimacy of democratic institutions (abetted by conspiracy theories) -- shaped not only the 2020 election, but also the future of our democracy. The 2020 election cycle was one of the most tumultuous in the nation's history. Early in the cycle, a global pandemic hit the US, paralyzing much of the economy and raising a multitude of questions about how people would go about voting. Then, beginning in late spring, a series of police brutality cases set off a nationwide wave of protests and civil disturbances related to racial justice concerns. In the final phase, the president of the United States refused to accept the results and incited his followers to storm the US Capitol. How did all of these momentous events shape voters' opinions? And what impact did they have on the outcome? To answer these questions, Kathleen Hall Jamieson and her collaborators surveyed 9,000 Americans over the course of the year to determine how voters reacted to the events on the ground, the campaigns' attempts at persuasion, and the post-election chaos that followed Biden's victory. Generally, American voters saw the multitude of crises through the lens of their polarized partisan predispositions. But why? Jamieson and her co-authors first stress that America has multiple electorates, and they are exposed to different informational environments. The divergent messages they received shaped not only their vote choice, but also how they made sense of these crises. Interestingly, though, while many voters were locked in place by their partisan priors, a majority of those who ended up voting for either Biden or Trump were unsure of their choice and whether they would actually vote at some point during the year. What led to both the wavering in people's choices and the attitudes they eventually adopted were in large part due to the differing media environments enveloping them: the messages from the campaigns, from their family and friends, as well from those in mass and social media. But this is not a simple story of "echo chambers," where individuals are immersed in only one type of media -- far from it. The distinct media environments in which these electorates experienced the election were in fact complex and varied, and the interaction between these different types of media was key. Indeed, most voters were subject to cross-cutting information pressures and not only one type of partisan source. This book's focus on the ebb and flow of the campaign over time and the centrality of wavering voters makes this an authoritative and essential account of one of the most momentous American elections ever.

A picture of what a post pandemic world may look like

Author : Joshua Park
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If there was ever a period of uncertainty and a backlog of unanswered questions in recent memory, the years 2020 and 2021 have certainly been uncertain. What does the future hold for us after this pandemic? Has COVID-19 permanently changed our way of life? What is the long-term outlook for the global economy? In this book, I examine what medical experts, political leaders, and well-known futurists are saying with regard to these questions. Political polarization, fearmongering, and herd mentality are all great obstacles that must be dealt with in order to address the most pressing questions that the pandemic has given rise to. Should our leaders consider universal basic income (UBI) in the long run? How does transportation look in a post-pandemic society? How can we reduce the possibilities of such a pandemic from happening again? How can nations achieve the appropriate balance between public health and individual rights? Again, these are just a few questions that may arise as we move on from the worst days of the pandemic, and for most of these questions, there is no single, clear, and definite answer. It may be impossible to read the future, but it is possible to prepare for it by educating ourselves with data. In a time where political leaders seem to be driven more by partisanship over data-driven decision-making, the onus is on average citizens to steer their leaders towards practical and helpful legislative practices. With unstable financial markets, a global economy on fire, and speculations over the efficacy of vaccines, it is important to understand our current circumstances in order to present reasonable solutions. However dim the future may appear, creating a brighter reality must be a collective goal. Through this book, I hope to provide a clear picture of what the world looked like during the peak of the pandemic as well as a picture of what a post-pandemic world may look like.

Uncooperative Society Uncooperative Politics Or Both

Author : Nicholas Charron
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Why have some territories performed better than others in the fight against COVID-19? This paper uses a novel dataset on excess mortality, trust and political polarization for 165 European regions to explore the role of social and political divisions in the remarkable regional differences in excess mortality during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. First, we investigate whether regions characterized by a low social and political trust witnessed a higher excess mortality. Second, we argue that it is not only levels, but also polarisation in trust among citizens -- in particular, between government supporters and non-supporters -- what matters for understanding why people in some regions have adopted more pro-healthy behaviour. Third, we explore the partisan make-up of regional parliaments and the relationship between political division -- or what we refer to as 'uncooperative politics'. We hypothesize that the ideological positioning -- in particular those that lean more populist -- and ideological polarization among political parties is also linked to higher mortality. Accounting for a host of potential confounders, we find robust support that regions with lower levels of both social and political trust are associated with higher excess mortality, along with citizen polarization in institutional trust in some models. On the ideological make-up regional parliaments, we find that, ceteris paribus, those that lean more 'tan' on the 'gal-tan' spectrum yielded higher excess mortality. Moreover, although we find limited evidence of elite polarization driving excess deaths on the left-right or gal-tan spectrums, partisan differences on the attitudes towards the EU demonstrated significantly higher deaths, which we argue proxies for (anti)populism. Overall, we find that both lower citizen-level trust and populist elite-level ideological characteristics of regional parliaments are associated with higher excess mortality in European regions during the first wave of the pandemic.