This page contains ongoing work on coronavirus/ COVID-19 policy, including:

Early monitoring of UK government policy

The long version was becoming too long and unwieldy (and out of date), so I replaced it with a longer version: Cairney UK coronavirus policy 25000 14.7.20 (and will update it at regular intervals)

I then prepared a 9000 word (plus references) version of that paper, to be submitted for peer review: Cairney British Politics UK coronavirus policy 10000 14.7.20

I summarise both in this post:

The UK Government’s COVID-19 policy: assessing evidence-informed policy analysis in real time 

abstract 25k words

Key themes: the use of evidence, inequalities, trust


  1. Christopher Weible, Daniel Nohrstedt, Paul Cairney, David Carter, Deserai Crow, Anna Durnová, Tanya Heikkila, Karin Ingold, Allan McConnell & Diane Stone (2020) ‘COVID-19 and the policy sciences: initial reactions and perspectives’, Policy Sciences

Analysis of the UK Government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE)

see also: The early minutes from NERVTAG (the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group)

Analysis of oral evidence to House of Commons select committees

COVID-19 policy in the UK: oral evidence to the Health and Social Care Committee (5th March- 3rd June 2020)

  1. The need to ramp up testing (for many purposes)
  2. The inadequate supply of personal protective equipment (PPE)
  3. Defining the policy problem: ‘herd immunity’, long term management, and the containability of COVID-19
  4. Uncertainty and hesitancy during initial UK coronavirus responses
  5. Confusion about the language of intervention and stages of intervention
  6. The relationship between science, science advice, and policy
  7. Lower profile changes to policy and practice
  8. Race, ethnicity, and the social determinants of health