Political systems and freedoms: Social policy and state compulsion An academic approach through the experience of the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) pandemic

Konstadinos Polonifis

The purpose of this diploma thesis is to record the context in which the pandemic of the new coronavirus (SARS-CoV2) takes place, and the dynamics that it creates in social and political level.

The unprecedented health crisis that began in early 2020, has caused a pause in the interactive relations, both between citizens and between the citizen and his leadership. Following a series of crisis such as the asymmetric threat of terrorism and the economic downturn of 2008, the pandemic crisis confirms the necessity of applying emergency rules, which are now combining the exception state with the terms of biopolitics and the power over the human body itself. The implementation of coercive measures to limit individual behavior, enables the state power to expand its control mechanisms, while retreating from the fulfillment of the demands for a modern welfare state, taking advantage of the feeling of fear that has spread to societies around the world.

The thesis is structured as follows: The first chapter, presents the context and the historical horizon that delimits the major event of the pandemic crisis and how it redefines the public good of health and the concept of security in the age of globalization.

The second chapter of the thesis, presents a brief historical overview of the concept of state of emergency and exception, and the ways in which it’s applied to deal with the pandemic. The enforcement of necessity law in terms of life and death, creates the conditions for a new social and political perspective, with invisible points of contact of the public and private spheres, in a world with deep class gaps and differences.

Finally, the third chapter, is an attempt to capture the dynamics of the pandemic crisis, in a series of aspects of social life, which serve as starting points for reflection for the next day.

In the conclusions, we can recognize the necessity to redefine the social demands in the context of rivalry, for the nature and practices that shape the executive power of state and the civil society.

Thesis Committee Members
Academic Year
2019 - 2020