The Social and Political Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic: An Introduction

Beth Redbird*, Laurel Harbridge-Yong*, Rachel D Mersey*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The COVID-19 pandemic highlights the importance of responsive institutions: governments and communities coordinating policy changes; media, social networks, and officials swiftly and accurately conveying information; and an engaged public. This special issue explores social and political factors that both shaped initial response to the pandemic, and were altered by it. Institutional inequalities and variations in government response created significant differences in health outcomes even as the contagious nature of the pandemic linked spaces and people. Thus COVID-19 created new crises, exacerbated inequalities, and led to broad social changes. Social scientists will spend decades unraveling the consequences of COVID-19. This issue challenges scholars to apply existing theories and frameworks, but also to see the pandemic as an event that stimulates us to reevaluate settled paradigms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-29
Number of pages29
Issue number8
StatePublished - Dec 1 2022


  • COVID-19
  • civic
  • inequality
  • information
  • policy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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