What do pandemics and public health crises mean for democracies around the globe? Watch the Long Room Hub's latest Behind the Headlines discussion live on IrishCentral.

The Trinity Long Room Hub's latest Behind the Headlines discussion, in partnership with the Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities at Columbia University, will explore what pandemics and public health crises mean for democracies around the world:

Behind the Headlines: Democracy in an Age of Pandemic

Our next Behind the Headlines, in partnership with the Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanites at Columbia University, will explore what pandemics and public health crises mean for democracies around the world.

Publiée par Trinity Long Room Hub Arts and Humanities Research Institute sur Lundi 27 avril 2020

Social distancing, cocooning, and "lockdown" measures implemented worldwide to stall the spread of COVID-19 have raised questions about what the absence of public life means for democracy. We have also seen a range of emergency powers introduced by governments trying to manage social order during this time. An international panel will discuss the politics and policies of disease prevention and control, how the absence of public life might impact on those on the margins of our societies, and what we might learn from plague and democracy in classical Greece.

The panelists include:

Peter Baldwin

A professor of history at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Baldwin is interested in the historical development of the modern state.

He will explore the politics of disease prevention, using historical examples and questioning why the range of reactions by states to the pandemic has been surprisingly different.

Lilith Acadia

A Marie Skłodowska-Curie Cofund Fellow at the Trinity Long Room Hub, Acadia is researching pretext in the construction and concealment of ethical and policy stances, actions, and identity.

She will explore how we can use tools to evaluate the trustworthiness of governments’ justifications for policy changes in times of crisis to ensure civil liberties are preserved.

Shamus Khan 

Khan is a Professor of Sociology at Columbia University, where he is chair of the department.

He writes on culture, inequality, gender, and elites. Exploring what lessons we can take from sociology, he will discuss what social isolation means for many vulnerable groups and how contrary to the universalistic language being used, not everyone is experiencing the pandemic in the same way. If anything, he will argue, the pandemic has highlighted a number of underlying inequalities.

Ahuvia Kahane

Kahane is Regius professor of Greek (1761) and A. G. Leventis Professor of Greek Culture in Trinity’s department of classics.

He will explore what citizens today might learn from the catastrophic plague which struck Athens in 430 BCE, killing its leader Pericles and marking the beginning of the end of democracy in classical Greece. He will argue that this plague not only killed people but undermined the very foundations of this society.

You can watch the live stream of the panel discussion via Zoom or IrishCentral's Facebook page. Find out more at Trinity's Long Room Hub here. 

This Behind the Headlines discussion launches the 5-part series ‘Rethinking Democracy in an Age of Pandemics’, a collaboration between the Trinity Long Room Hub Arts and Humanities Institute and the Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities at Columbia University. The first of the 5-part online series on Nations and Borders will take place on Wednesday, April 29 at 4.30pm. See here for more information.

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