Could the coronavirus crisis mark a turning point in society and politics? This is already the case, but it is unlikely to ignite radical change. Since the onset of the pandemic, we’ve been trying to imagine radically new lifestyles and economic models that could help us overcome pressing issues, such as the climate crisis and social injustice. However, the changes we do see are not likely to be deep-rooted and may lead societies down differing paths.
Despite this, states will take on a more prominent role in the short term as a result of COVID-19, manifesting in greater border surveillance and immigration control, increasing economic measures, better support for the healthcare system and limited versions of basic income, among other policies. People’s stances and expectations regarding this change are many and often in opposition with one another. In some cases, state intervention is called out for focusing solely on the survival and smooth running of the market; in others, it’s seen as an attempt at rebuilding the enfeebled welfare state.