How to Trust in a Pandemic: Report of the Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences (IHSS) Working Group on COVID-19

Report - External Series

Reid-Henry, Simon; Valsamis Mitsilegas; Sophie Harman; Mario Slugan; David McCoy; Sydney Calkin; Aoife Monks; Gülnur Muradoglu; & Stella Ladi (2022) How to Trust in a Pandemic: Report of the Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences (IHSS) Working Group on COVID-19, IHSS Working Group on Covid-19, Institute for Humanities and Social Sciences. Queen Mary University of London.

​Two members of the Co-Duties team contributed to the Final Report of the IHSS Working Group on Covid-19, drawing upon some of the work undertaken for the Co-Duties project. The Report identifies the key importance of trust in determining the nature of the Covid-19 response, and links this both to public health responses, but also wider questions of political culture as explored in Co-Duties. Focus on the UK, but placing this also in a comparative European context, the report argues that "the way in which citizen freedoms of movement were managed in relation to the effort to reduce the circulation of the virus turns upon the matter of civic duty. People were called upon to “do” their duty and to adhere to the almost constantly changing public health requirements of governments. / But in what did this sense of duty reside? Drawing upon the work of Engin Isin and other scholars, Wolff reminds us that citizenship is not just a bundle of rights and duties; it is a function of various more active “modes” as well: and in a pandemic it is those more active forms of citizenship which were called up to enable the government’s discursive strategy of “we’re all in it together” to stick.”