7 April 2020

In Ljubljana

Matthew Porges

In a pandemic, some common-sense policies can closely resemble authoritarianism. Banning large public gatherings, for instance, is both a classic authoritarian move and a reasonable strategy to control the spread of the virus. This tension opens up an opportunity for would-be authoritarians to exploit the situation, using the pandemic as cover for implementing policies that would otherwise result in a lot more pushback, domestically and internationally. While the population is staying home and the media are distracted, there is time and space for political shifts that would otherwise be impossible.