1st Edition

The Pandemic in Britain COVID-19, British Exceptionalism and Neoliberalism

By Sean Creaven Copyright 2023
    260 Pages
    by Routledge

    260 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book offers a political analysis and sociological critique of the UK government’s response to the novel coronavirus outbreak, interpreting the inadequacies of government policy with regard to COVID-19 as the results of neoliberal ideology, the protection of corporate interests, Brexit nationalism, and the peculiarities of a British model of capitalism based on international trade and labour market precarity.

    Arguing that institutionalized corporate-capitalist control of state and science generates new and growing public health risks, and that consumer-driven individualism has eroded community life and the protections this might offer against pandemics, the author contends that the UK government’s catastrophic response to the COVID-19 pandemic was the result of peculiarly British socioeconomic and political phenomena.

    The Pandemic in Britain will appeal to scholars of sociology, philosophy and politics with interests in the COVID-19 pandemic as well as neoliberal ideology and its manifestation in political life.

    Introduction: Anatomy of the UK Pandemic

    1. The Road to Lockdown

    2. NHS Shortages and the Ventilator Challenge

    3. Neoliberalism and the Crisis of Welfare

    4. Premature Unlockings and the Later Lockdowns

    5. Border Insecurities

    6. Communicative Ambivalence and Test and Trace

    7. Mask Scepticism

    8. Freedom Day

    Conclusions: Beyond Freedom?


    Sean Creaven is Senior Lecturer in Sociology and Criminology at the University of the West of England, UK. His research interests include the sociology of modernity and postmodernity, sociological theory, critical theory, Marxism and Post-Marxism, critical realism and criminological theory. He is the author of Against the Spiritual Turn: Marxism, Realism, and Critical Theory (Routledge, 2010), Emergentist Marxism: Dialectical Philosophy and Social Theory (Routledge, 2007), and Marxism and Realism: A Materialistic Application of Realism in the Social Sciences (Routledge, 2000).