Babies and Boomers

Intergenerational Democracy and the Political Epidemiology of COVID-19

in Democratic Theory
Author: Toby Rollo 1
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  • 1 Lakehead University, Canada toby.rollo@lakeheadu.ca
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Abstract

The response to the COVID-19 pandemic has revealed how public health decisions in mass liberal democracies always reflect a political trade-off between protecting privileged groups and leaving more marginalized groups precariously exposed. Examining the “political epidemiology” of COVID-19, I focus on the ways that the lives and well-being of children are sacrificed to secure adult interests. I argue that in our efforts to protect older adults we have endangered children and abandoned the future of today's youth. This, I conclude, is indicative of a liberal preoccupation with adults and adult forms of agency, a defect that can only be adequately challenged by working toward more robust forms of democratic inclusion that include children and youth.

Contributor Notes

Toby Rollo is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Lakehead University. His research centers on democracy, colonialism, and the politics of childhood. E-mail: toby.rollo@lakeheadu.ca

Democratic Theory

An Interdisciplinary Journal

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