What is it about?

What affects citizens' evaluations (i.e. assessments of the effectiveness) of their governments’ responses to the pandemic? Do these assessments owe to different factors in different countries? We consider political orientations, personal experiences with the crisis, and socio-demographic characteristics.

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Why is it important?

Our results show that left-right political ideology serves as a shortcut for the assessment of the effectiveness of the urgent and controversial measures taken by governments to combat COVID-19. Other individuals' political orientations also matter: this is the case of interventionist values. This has implications for the ability of governments to elicit citizens’ cooperation with the policies confronting the crisis and can impact the effectiveness of government responses to protect people from harm.


We perform a comparative analysis of eight very diverse countries and uncover remarkably similar effects in all eight countries, indicating that the pattern of influence persists across different contexts. The eight countries are Australia, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The data employed are open access.

Andrés Santana
Universidad Autonoma de Madrid

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This page is a summary of: Are we looking at crises through polarized lenses? Predicting public assessments of the official early responses to the COVID-19 pandemic in eight countries, European Sociological Review, April 2023, Oxford University Press (OUP),
DOI: 10.1093/esr/jcad016.
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