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The UK and Covid 19

Tyler, Colin



Jan Nederveen Pieterse

Haeran Lim

Habibul Khondker


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)

Acceptance Date Mar 1, 2021
Online Publication Date Jun 11, 2021
Publication Date Jun 11, 2021
Deposit Date Mar 25, 2021
Publicly Available Date Dec 12, 2022
Publisher Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Book Title Covid-19 and Governance: Crisis Reveals
Chapter Number 10
ISBN 9780367722517 ; 9780367722500
Keywords Covid-19; Pandemic; Competition state; Social welfare; NHS
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Editors: Jan Nederveen Pieterse, Haeran Lim, Habibul Khondker,


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