Introduction Democracy, understood as electoral democracy based on representation, was not at its strongest when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. The Freedom House organization, which has monitored global democracy for decades, reported in 2020 that
Lauri Rapeli and Inga Saikkonen
become one of the greatest inventions of the twentieth century. 1 However, the COVID-19 pandemic has today presented a major threat to air travel like no other event ever did. The 1973 and 1979 Oil Crises, the September 11 terror attacks, Severe Acute
The Rise of Autocracy and Democratic Resilience
( Urbinati 2014 ). The COVID-19 pandemic represents a new and unparalleled stress-test for the already disrupted liberal-representative democracies. The challenges to such contemporary democracies cluster around the three democratic disfigurations (and
Brief Reflections on Intimacies and Precariousness
This brief article aims to reflect on the ways in which the COVID-19 pandemic restructures intimacies, and the ways in which people relate to each other and to the domestic environment in a group of favelas located in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. I
political failure of the statist imaginary in an increasingly interdependent world requiring cooperation across borders. What implications does the COVID-19 pandemic have for arguments concerning open borders? Consider two initial responses. The first
and green spaces, and a need to live in better harmony with nature. Unbridled urbanization around the world has decreased and poisoned natural resources and has had deleterious effects on public health. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown just how
A Reflexive and Comparative Approach to the COVID-19 Pandemic in Urban China
citizens. During the past five months, via social media (especially WeChat messaging and videoconference conversations), I have conducted extensive research on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on daily intimacies in the coastal city of Yuecheng, as well
Sheila K. Hoffman
In the mid-1990s, when many museums were beginning to take their first hesitant steps toward building online personae, the worry still holding many back was that if a collection or experience were available online, in-person visitation would invariably decline (; ; ). In the 25 years since, that fear has largely been dispelled even as our technical ability to digitally capture and disseminate cultural collections has improved exponentially, even to the point that the online experience in some ways exceeds the in-person experience. Indeed, museums have moved far beyond the ability to show a few images of the major works in a collection, adding opportunities that mirror almost all the offerings of the in-person experience. But even this “Mona Lisa” effect has not driven in-person visitation down. Rather the opposite. Anyone who has elbowed through the crowds at many of the world's best-known museums can attest to that. Indeed, having been among this ubiquitous press of people, I could not help but think on such occasions that it would take an act of God to reduce the numbers and improve the quality of viewing.
This is a personal reflection reacting and responding to the COVID-19 global pandemic and the domestication and on-lining of physical leisure pursuit. In Anthony Giddens’ The Transformation of Intimacy, there is the suggestion that the condition of the plastic is one ‘decentred’ and ‘freed from the needs of reproduction’. Giddens was writing generally about sexuality and the physical labour of reproduction, but this suggestion warrants wider exploration, particularly when Giddens concludes his argument with the suggestion that intimacy and democracy are ideally implicated in each other: autonomy of the self and open conditions of association as preconditions for establishing his reflexive project of the self. This personal reflection develops this suggestion by looking at two creative responses to the pandemic lockdown as socially distanced tennis and Zoom tango become tactics for living with the unexpected, for coping with isolation, for retaining and returning to an everyday.
Laurent J.G. van der Maesen
Societal Aspects of the COVID-19 Pandemic: An Introduction During the preparation of this issue of the International Journal of Social Quality , the authors were confronted with the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. This event thoroughly