Journal of the International Academy for Case Studies (Print ISSN: 1078-4950; Online ISSN: 1532-5822)


The Communication Discipline Role In Combating-Covid-19

Author(s): Ivan Gentile

Centres of government (CoGs) have played an important role in tackling the crisis caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This paper discusses the high-level institutional arrangements put in place by governments to manage policy responses to the pandemic, with a special focus on CoG’s leading or supporting role in three main dimensions: co-ordination and strategic planning, the use of evidence to inform decision-making, and communicating decisions to the public. As governments face unprecedented governance challenges, the pandemic has uncovered gaps in both government co-ordination and the use of evidence for policy making, which directly affect the nature and quality of the measures adopted to tackle the crisis and its aftermath. These challenges have led to a number of quick fixes and agile responses, which will need to be assessed when the worst of the crisis is over. In addition, in relation to the fact that experts' recommendations are generally technical and supposedly neutral, we note that in the COVID-19 crisis different experts have suggested different public health policies. We consider the British case of herd immunity and the US case of the exclusion of disabled people from medical care. These decisions have strong axiological implications and affect people profoundly in very sensitive domains. Another goal is, therefore, to argue that in such cases experts should justify their recommendations-which effectively become obligations-by the canons of public reason within the political process because when values are involved it is no longer just a matter of finding the “best technical solution,” but also of making discretionary choices that affect citizens and that cannot be imposed solely on the basis of epistemic authority

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