1st Edition

Governing Human Lives and Health in Pandemic Times Social Control Policies

    270 Pages 21 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    270 Pages 21 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Governing Human Lives and Health in Pandemic Times looks into the instruments and the type of reasoning involved when large-scale social control strategies were implemented worldwide in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    The repertoires of institutional and administrative governance tools used during the pandemic are studied in their unique institutional, socio-geographic, and cultural settings, in order to form an understanding of the political climates and the values inscribed in current societal contracts.

    The book is intended for academic audiences interested in policy research, health governance, and civil societal issues. It will be of great relevance and use for a wide audience of policymakers, public officials, and health care planners as well as students in a broad range of disciplines.

    Governance and social control during pandemics

    Matilda Hellman, Tom Kettunen, Saara Salmivaara, and Janne Stoneham

    PART I: Communicating a pandemic

    1. The role of the Italian press in times of pandemics: Old features in the face of a new risk
    Marco Mazzoni, Roberto Mincigrucci, Susanna Pagiotti, Anna Stanziano and Sofia Verza

    2. Re-vitalising discourses of solidarity: Governing populations in times of uncertainty and crisis
    Anna-Lisa Müller and Leonie Tuitjer

    3. Calm chess player or self-aware administrator? How the Finnish and Swedish public health agencies addressed the public during the corona outbreak
    Matilda Hellman, Saara Salmivaara, and Janne Stoneham

    PART II: Autonomy, rights, and choice

    4. A Battle over birth: Contestations, lived experiences and the restrictive policy of Finnish birth care in the COVID-19 Pandemic​
    Kaisa Kuurne and Anna Leppo

    5. Stuck between health-related and socioeconomic risks. Managing the pandemic in India
    Dayabati Roy

    PART III: Political and ideological struggles

    6. The effects of a hegemonising negationist narrative in Brazil
    Fábio Malini, Ana Paula Miranda Costa Bergami, Camilla Reisler Cavalcanti, Marcela Bastos and Lígia Iunes Venturott

    7. When counting counts: Politics of quantification and the government of Covid-19 in São Paulo
    Daniel Edler Duarte, Letícia Simões Gomes and Alcides Eduardo Dos Reis Peron

    PART IV: Framing control policy options

    8. The framing of harms to children and youth due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Sweden, Finland and Ontario, Canada in relation to school lockdowns
    Heather Bullock, Petra Kouvonen, Gabriella Dahlberg and Fredrik Lindencrona

    9. Nudge: Behavioural science, normative discourse, and the art of consent
    Ben Harbisher

    PART V: Summary and conclusions

    10. Governance in pandemic times: conclusions

    Matilda Hellman, Tom Kettunen, Saara Salmivaara, and Janne Stoneham


    Matilda Hellman is a sociologist and a research director at the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Helsinki. Her research concerns understandings and articulations of lifestyles, health, and social marginalization. She has focused especially on how governance, policies, and institutions embed and produce views on questions such as drug use, alcohol policy, gambling, and brain-based addiction, and how these affect individuals, groups, and societies.

    Tom Kettunen is the managing editor of Nordic Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, a social science journal specializing in publishing research on comparative settings within the frameworks of social welfare and political policymaking. With a background in philosophy and gender studies, his academic interests also include diversity in science publishing, publishing ethics, lifestyles, and addictions.

    Saara Salmivaara is a doctoral candidate in sociology at the University of Helsinki. Her research interests include the role of science in society, as well as styles of reasoning and modes of justification in reactions to contemporary issues regarding health and environment.

    Janne Stoneham is a master’s student in sociology and co-author to the forthcoming book Addiction in the Brain: Expectations and Ethical Considerations (2022). His research interests lie in the philosophy of science, epistemology, and anti-essentialist ontologies.