1st Edition

Comparing and Contrasting the Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic in the European Union

    132 Pages 12 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    132 Pages 12 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Comparing and Contrasting the Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic in the European Union challenges the use of uncontextualised comparisons of COVID-19 cases and deaths in member states during the period when Europe was the epicentre of the pandemic. This timely study looks behind the headlines and the statistics to demonstrate the value for knowledge exchange and policy learning of comparisons that are founded on an in-depth understanding of key socio-demographic and public health indicators within their policy settings. The book adopts innovative, integrated, multi-disciplinary international perspectives to track and assess a fast-moving topical subject in an accessible format. It offers a template for analysing policy responses to the COVID-19 pandemic and for using evidence-based comparisons to inform and support policy development.

    1. European National Public Healthcare Systems Compared

    2. Comparing the Impacts of COVID-19 across EU Member States

    3. Tracking and Comparing Government Responses to COVID-19

    4. The Impact of COVID-19 in Policy Contexts

    5. Contextualising the Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic Within the European Union


    Linda Hantrais FAcSS is Emeritus Professor of European Social Policy at Loughborough University, UK, and a Visiting Professor at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Her research interests span international comparative research theory, methods, management and practice, with particular reference to public policy and institutional structures in the European Union, and the relationship between socio-demographic trends and social policy.

    Marie-Thérèse Letablier is Senior Research Fellow at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), and Emeritus Senior Research Fellow at the Centre d’Economie de la Sorbonne-UMR 8174, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne. Her research focusses on family policy, intergenerational relations and the work−family relationship in France, from an international comparative perspective.

    "An insightful comparative assessment of the varying responses of European countries to the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic, informed by an in-depth understanding of the health and social services institutional frameworks within which these operated. Invaluable if we are to learn lessons for future strategies."

    Professor Susanne MacGregor, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

    "This book is an exceptionally welcome addition to the growing volume of evidence concerning the first wave of the pandemic. It addresses a central dimension of policy and public health debates about what we can learn about the impact of COVID-19 in other countries and their responses to the pandemic. Importantly, the book identifies the methodological pitfalls and difficulties in making cross-national comparisons and the significance of policy contexts and public healthcare systems. Amidst the clamour of the different disciplines, the book is a rare example of what policymakers can learn from the voice of social science." 

    Julia Brannen, Emerita Professor, UCL Institute of Education 

    This book by Linda Hantrais and Marie-Thérèse Letablier is timely and highly pertinent. Their assessment of Europe’s divergent policies and practical action in the coronavirus pandemic will be vital as policymakers consider next steps in present and future strategies. Effective public health care depends on avoiding pitfalls of previous policy management in turbulent times. There has been undoubted confusion over Covid19 in the minds of both policymakers and publics across the continent, so this clearly written assessment of responses by public and private health and social services is much needed. The book will prove the key reference for academics, historians and policymakers dealing with future pandemics."

    David Spence, European Commission