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Research project

Coping with COVID-19: A Comparative Political Economy Analysis of European Policy Responses

The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered unprecedented economic decline in advanced economies, often exacerbating challenges inherited from previous crises. However, the policy responses to these common pressures in the initial ‘fast burning’ phase of the COVID-19-induced recession vary significantly across countries. This project uses a comparative political economy approach to make sense of this variation within the EU and to derive relevant policy implications. First, we map systematically the responses enacted during the first wave of the pandemic (February–-September 2020) in the fields of macro-economic (monetary and fiscal) a­nd micro-economic (labour market and business support) policy across selected EU countries. Second, we conduct a cross-country comparative analysis of policy responses. We deploy configurational comparative methods to identify the determinants of policy variation, considering the interplay between institutional, economic, ideological and political factors. The project will generate insights about the preconditions for effective policy responses to sudden shocks.

This project is additionally supported by a Rapid Response Grant on COVID-19 and the Social Sciences from the SSRC (Social Science Research Council). 

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