Crisis responses, opportunity and public authority during Covid-19's first wave in Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan

Kirk, Tom, Green, Duncan, Allen, Tim, Carayannis, Tatiana, Bazonzi, Jose, Ndala, Jose, Stys, Patrycja, Muzuri, Papy, Nyenyezi, Aymar, Vlassenroot, Koen, Ding Akoi Nyuon, Abraham, Macdonald, Anna, Owor, Arthur, Storer, Liz, Okello, Joseph, Hopwood, Julian, Porter, Holly, Oryem, Robin, Parker, Melissa and Akello, Grace (2021) Crisis responses, opportunity and public authority during Covid-19's first wave in Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan. Disasters, 45 (S1). S195-S215. ISSN 0361-3666

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Abstract

Discussions on African responses to Covid-19 have focused on the state and its international backers. Far less is known about a wider range of public authorities, including chiefs, humanitarians, criminal gangs, and armed groups. This paper investigates how the pandemic provided opportunities for claims to and contests over power in Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and South Sudan. Ethnographic research is used to contend that local forms of public authority can be akin to miniature sovereigns, able to interpret dictates, policies, and advice as required. Alongside coping with existing complex protracted emergencies, many try to advance their own agendas and secure benefits. Those they seek to govern, though, do not passively accept the new normal, instead often challenging those in positions of influence. This paper assesses which of these actions and reactions will have lasting effects on local notions of statehood and argues for a public authorities lens in times of crisis.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding Information: Thanks to all contributors who worked during a trying time to collect data and document life under the pandemic and responses to it. Unless otherwise stated, this paper was principally funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (grant number: ES/P008038/1) and conducted at the Centre for Public Authority and International Development, London School of Economics and Political Science. Liz Storer's research was funded by a Knowledge Frontiers grant from the British Academy, and Melissa Parker and Grace Akello's research on Covid‐19 and public authority is co‐supported by funding from the Pandemic Preparedness project of the Wellcome Trust (Grant number: NH/17033).
Uncontrolled Keywords: africa,covid-19,democratic republic of the congo (drc),south sudan,uganda,governance,pandemic,public authorities,social sciences(all),earth and planetary sciences(all) ,/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/3300
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of International Development
Related URLs:
Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 09 Oct 2021 01:03
Last Modified: 11 May 2022 00:40
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/81626
DOI: 10.1111/disa.12513

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