Event

Apr 20, 2021
Pandemic Polities: Science Governance in Democratic and Authoritarian Regimes

Panel Talks

A Bitter Pill: The Responsiveness of Modern Autocracies in the Covid-19 Pandemic

Anna L. Ahlers

Are autocracies better equipped to tackle the grand challenges of the 21st century? A science-informed and expert-led authority that can swiftly allocate essential resources wherever needed and defend the common good against particularistic desires and harmful individualistic behavior: not least since emergency responses to anthropogenic climate change are discussed, there seems to be a renaissance of such modern authoritarian desires. The global Covid-19 crisis is now the latest arena for such considerations. But what exactly distinguishes pandemic science governance under different political regimes? In this brief talk, I will refer to specific empirical insights from the case I study closely, the People’s Republic of China, but also test some more comparative and conceptual ideas.  

 

What Makes a Crisis? Political Narratives of Covid-19

Lino Camprubí

How did the Covid-19 pandemic become a crisis? What types of scientific imaginations trigger political actions? In this mini-lecture I will focus on the reactions to the coronavirus in southern European countries, where the health and economic costs of the pandemic have been enormous. I will pay particular attention to two developments: the place of experts in party politics and the appropriation of transnational narratives. Both of these interconnected stories complicate the dichotomy between democratic and authoritarian regimes when it comes to science governance. They also invite us to revise the concept of technocracy in a politically and scientifically plural world.   

 

About the Panelists

Contact and Registration

A number of places are available to the public. Please email public@mpiwg-berlin.mpg.de by April 13, 2021 to register.

For further information about the series, please contact Lisa Onaga and/or Stephanie Hood.

About the Institute's Colloquium Series 2020/21

2021-04-20T14:00:00SAVE IN I-CAL 2021-04-20 14:00:00 2021-04-20 15:30:00 Pandemic Polities: Science Governance in Democratic and Authoritarian Regimes Panel Talks A Bitter Pill: The Responsiveness of Modern Autocracies in the Covid-19 Pandemic Anna L. Ahlers Are autocracies better equipped to tackle the grand challenges of the 21st century? A science-informed and expert-led authority that can swiftly allocate essential resources wherever needed and defend the common good against particularistic desires and harmful individualistic behavior: not least since emergency responses to anthropogenic climate change are discussed, there seems to be a renaissance of such modern authoritarian desires. The global Covid-19 crisis is now the latest arena for such considerations. But what exactly distinguishes pandemic science governance under different political regimes? In this brief talk, I will refer to specific empirical insights from the case I study closely, the People’s Republic of China, but also test some more comparative and conceptual ideas.     What Makes a Crisis? Political Narratives of Covid-19 Lino Camprubí How did the Covid-19 pandemic become a crisis? What types of scientific imaginations trigger political actions? In this mini-lecture I will focus on the reactions to the coronavirus in southern European countries, where the health and economic costs of the pandemic have been enormous. I will pay particular attention to two developments: the place of experts in party politics and the appropriation of transnational narratives. Both of these interconnected stories complicate the dichotomy between democratic and authoritarian regimes when it comes to science governance. They also invite us to revise the concept of technocracy in a politically and scientifically plural world.      About the Panelists Anna L. Ahlers Anna L. Ahlers is currently assembling a Lise Meitner Research Group at the MPIWG, "China in the Global System of Science," which will explore the many facets of China’s stunning ascent in the global system of science in recent decades qualitatively and quantitatively. Her own current research projects focus on the political regime as an environmental factor for science, and the intersections and interactions of scientists/scholars with the government in local policy-making in the PR China. Anna Ahlers studied sinology and political science at the University of Tübingen, Peking University, and Renmin University (PR China), and holds a PhD in China Studies from the University of Tübingen. Before joining the MPIWG in January 2020, she was a tenured Associate Professor in Modern Chinese Society and Politics at the University of Oslo, Norway. She has also worked at the University of Bonn (FIW), Zhejiang University (PR China), the Mercator Institute for China Studies (MERICS), Academia Sinica (RoChina), and the University of Chicago where she was a Wigeland Visiting Professor in the academic year 2018/19. She is a board member of the Junge Akademie (BBAW und Leopoldina) and a fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin in 2020/21. Photo: David Ausserhofer, 2020. Lino Camprubí Lino Camprubí is a Ramón y Cajal Researcher at the Universidad de Sevilla. After graduate studies in Cornell, he obtained his PhD in UCLA in 2011. He has worked as a researcher at the UABarcelona and the MPIWG in Berlin, and as a visiting lecturer at UChicago. He is co-PI of the research project IBEROT@C and PI of the ERC-CoG DEEPMED. He has wide interests concerning history and philosophy of science, from engineering and politics to oceanography and warfare. Camprubí is the author of Engineers and the Making of the Francoist Regime (MIT Press, 2014) and Los ingenieros de Franco (Crítica, 2017), recipient of the ICOHTEC 2018 Book Prize. He has also co-edited Technology and Globalization (Palgrave Economic History Series, 2018), De la Guerra Fría al calentamiento global (Catarata, 2018) and the special issue “Experiencing the Global Environment” (SHPS, 2018). He has published in HSNS, Technology and Culture, Energy Policy and SHPS. More recently, he has co-edited an interdisciplinary book on the corona crisis (Sociedad entre pandemias, 2021). Lisa OnagaStephanie HoodPablo Ruiz de Olano Lisa OnagaStephanie HoodPablo Ruiz de Olano Europe/Berlin public