This chapter explores the institutional and ideological tensions that shape the United Kingdom (UK) government’s responses to the Covid-19 pandemic. The discussion is structured as follows. Section one presents the UK government’s response to the pandemic from January to early October 2020. Section two sketches the movement, post-1979, of the UK state from being a social democratic institution towards a competition state. Section three explores the attitudinal context of the current government’s response, by focusing on a powerful non-interventionist trend within contemporary centrist and right-wing UK political parties. The chapter concludes by highlighting the key lesson to be drawn from the government’s actions during the pandemic: namely, that institutions can reassert themselves against and even within a formerly populist government.
Tyler, C. (2021). The UK and Covid 19. In J. N. Pieterse, H. Lim, & H. Khondker (Eds.), Covid-19 and Governance: Crisis Reveals. Abingdon: Taylor & Francis (Routledge)