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Zavadskaya, M. (Ed.). (2023). The Politics of the Pandemic in Eastern Europe and Eurasia: Blame Game and Governance (1st ed.). Routledge.


This book provides a comprehensive overview of the political impact of the COVID-19 emergency in central and eastern Europe and Eurasia. Offering a theoretical framework linking the authoritarian, post-Soviet institutional legacy with patterns of political behavior, support and governments’ policies, the expert contributors argue that domestic political regimes mediate and shape citizens’ perceptions of public health crises, and the very regimes’ political survival. The authors explore how the pandemic affected regime change, government stability, business groups and civil societies in more than 15 countries of the region from the discovery of the virus to the vaccination rollout. The studies rely on a broad range of empirical evidence from the region – survey, state statistics, ethnography and interviews.

Formulating, explaining and empirically testing the causal mechanisms that drive political accountability and support through a cross-country comparison and in-depth case studies of popular and electoral support attempting to highlight any patterns specific to the region, this book contributes to studies of governance and political accountability in low-trust countries with authoritarian legacies and proclivities. Drawing on an interdisciplinary approach that brings together area studies, history, sociology and political science, it will also be of value to those interested in systematic effect of political regimes on handling public health crises.

The Illiberalism Studies Program studies the different faces of illiberal politics and thought in today’s world, taking into account the diversity of their cultural context, their intellectual genealogy, the sociology of their popular support, and their implications on the international scene.