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Regions Cities Industry Webinar Series - The Coercive Capacity of Covid-19 Policies: The Rule of Law and the Rule of Fear?

28 September 2022 to 28 September 2022

Registration for this webinar is free. If you are new to the RSA you will need to click on the login/sign up button and complete the full registration form and create your login details; this is only needed once. You will then be able to use this profile to sign up for future events on the RSA Lounge.


A traditionally held assumption about authoritarian states is that people comply with the regime out of fear; some initial research on COVID-19 responses builds on these expectations to posit that authoritarian regimes were better able to control their populations and therefore the virus. This paper looks beyond regime-level variables to the capacity of states to interrogate whether states with high coercive capacity rely on that capacity in the COVID-19 era and whether there is a replacement effect among different types of state capacity. Are states with high health care capacity, for example, less likely to deploy their available coercive capacity? Do states with low health care capacity deploy coercion out of necessity?


Our paper begins with an analysis of a cross-national panel of countries on indicators of state capacity (in particular coercive capacity), the rule of law, COVID-19 policies, and mobility data. We then zoom in on subnational data for Russia’s 85 regions, testing these same assumptions within one political system. Our analysis looks at policy types, policy timing, and initial capacity. The policy types data uses variables coded by the CoronaNet Research Project, an original dataset of over 100,000 policy entries from 195 countries, including nearly 20,000 policies on Russia alone covering all 85 subnational regions.


This research was funded by the RSA Small Grant Scheme on Pandemics, Cities, Regions and Industry – Next deadline for applications 5th September 2022



View more information on the Regions Cities Industries Series


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