Freie Universität Participates in Europe-Wide Study on Legitimacy of Measures Taken during the Covid-19 Crisis
Together with ten other research institutes, the Otto Suhr Institute of Political Science at Freie Universität Berlin is investigating crisis governance in Europe in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic
Since October 2022, researchers from the Otto Suhr Institute at Freie Universität Berlin have taken part in the LEGITIMULT (Legitimate Crisis Governance in Multilevel Systems) research project. A total of eleven research institutes have joined forces to investigate the legitimacy and impact of crisis governance measures taken by various international, national, and subnational governments in thirty-one European democracies. The project, which will run for three years, has received funding worth just under 3.7 million euros as part of the European Union’s program Horizon Europe.
How did the interplay between different governments across multiple levels influence the legitimacy and effectiveness of political decisions during the Covid-19 pandemic? Were the measures to tackle the health, social, and economic impact of the pandemic coordinated effectively? Did federal and decentralized structures facilitate modern crisis management? These are some of the questions that the project addresses from an interdisciplinary and comparative perspective. At the same time, the researchers investigate the influence of supranational organizations such as the European Union and the World Health Organization on the individual crisis management measures taken by member states.
The international teams examine questions related to democratic participation, trust in governments and public authorities, the adequacy of responsive actions and policy measures, and the consequences for human and minority rights. The Freie Universität Berlin team is specifically looking at the social, economic, and financial measures taken during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The project aims not only at generating scientific findings, but also at developing recommendations to effectively and sustainably manage crises in the future. The project researchers working together with politicians, government officials, experts, journalists, and citizens to ensure that crisis measures are successfully coordinated between multiple levels of government, and thereby enhancing the political legitimacy of crisis management.
Dr. Johanna Schnabel and Dr. Marius Guderjan are researchers at the Otto Suhr Institute for Political Science with expertise in multilevel policy and public policy. According to them, “In times of social fragmentation and political disenfranchisement, ensuring that crises are dealt with in a socially and economically responsible manner is an important concern for all of us. Questions of democratic participation and legitimacy are particularly relevant and solicit the attention of researchers, decision-makers, and the general public.”
The other research partners collaborating in the LEGITIMULT project include the European Research Academy Bolzano (Italy), the Forum of Federations (Canada), Université de Fribourg (Switzerland), Universitetet i Bergen (Norway), Universiteit Leiden (the Netherlands), the Institute for Ethnic Studies (Slovenia), Universiteit Antwerpen (Belgium), Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia (Spain), Sveučilište u Zagrebu Fakultet Političkih Znanosti (Croatia), and the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA, Sweden).
Dr. Johanna Schnabel, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel.: +49 30 838 72291
Dr. Marius Guderjan, Email: email@example.com, Tel.: +49 30 838 58230
https://legitimult.eu/, project website