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

Kirk, Thomas, Green, Duncan, Allen, Tim, Carayannis, Tatiana, Bazonzi, José, Ndala, José, Stys, Pat, Muzuri, Papy, Nyenyezi Bisoka, Aymar, Vlassenroot, Koen, Diing Akoi Nyuon, Abraham, Macdonald, Anna, Owor, Arthur, Storer, Liz, Okello, Joseph, Hopwood, Julian, Porter, Holly E., Oryem, Robin, Parker, Melissa and Akello Ayebare, 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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Identification Number: 10.1111/disa.12513

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
Official URL: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/14677717
Additional Information: © 2021 The Authors
Divisions: International Development
LSE
Geography & Environment
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
Date Deposited: 21 Sep 2021 14:27
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2022 08:24
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/111960

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