New article on the role of nationalism and populism in the Covid-19 pandemic by our professor Erin Jenne.
In the lead article of this symposium, Florian Bieber predicted that the Covid-19 pandemic would have limited long-term effects on the global rise in the level of nationalism because most governments were likely to revert to their prior nationalist trajectories following the pandemic. Nonetheless, I argue that we can learn something about the role of nationalism in the management of public health crises by looking at the variable state responses to the arrival of the virus within their borders. In the modern international system, state governments are tasked with safeguarding the health and well-being of their national populations. During national emergencies, sovereigntist movements form around competing images of the nation that deserves protection. This article uses political artwork to show how different images of the idealized sovereign community were employed to justify divergent pandemic policies of US President Donald Trump and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. Over the course of the pandemic, both leaders came under fire for failing to protect their constituents, providing space for alternative leaders and models of national protection.