“Soft” factors in pandemic response: Comparative intercountry analysis

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The article discusses the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic response that has engulfed most countries, highlights and analyses the response strategies adopted by governments. Using the example of the United States, Russia, Great Britain, Spain, Italy, Germany, Japan and China, the authors have analysed the adopted restrictive regimes, models of enforcement to comply with them, schemes and tools to support the economy. According to open sources, the authors estimated the duration and severity of the restrictive regimes for economic and social activity, the severity of punishments for violations of restrictive regimes, the scale of assistance to the population and business, and compliance with restrictive regimes. The article pays a special attention to identifying the role of “soft” factors, such as trust and national culture, in the implementation of the pandemic response policy. The authors used the index of ethnic fractionalization to characterize the homogeneity of society. The article confirms that more collectivist, long-term and less masculine cultures tend to strictly comply with restrictive regimes, but the penalties imposed in countries with such a cultural code have been more severe. The analysis showed that in countries with a more individualized and masculine culture, large packages of support for the population and business were allocated with a moderate severity of punishment for non-compliance with restrictions. In these countries, the tension and discontent of the population, which had accumulated during the period of the restrictive regimes, became more pronounced. The results obtained give grounds to assert that “soft” factors play an important role in shaping the policy of responding to the threat of a pandemic; the strategies chosen by countries in an explicit or implicit form reflect national, cultural and institutional characteristics.

Translated title of the contribution«Мягкие» факторы в борьбе с пандемией: сравнительный межстрановый анализ
Original languageEnglish
Article number7
Pages (from-to)1770-1780
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Siberian Federal University - Humanities and Social Sciences
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • 5.04 SOCIOLOGY

State classification of scientific and technological information



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