Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Long reads
25 March 2020updated 08 Apr 2020 8:08pm

The state transformed

New Statesman contributors from around the world reflect on how the coronavirus pandemic is transforming the ways in which we are governed.

By New Statesman

Singapore has become a model for battling coronavirus, by Laura Spinney

Thanks to fast action from the government, much of everyday life continues in Singapore. Schools, universities, shops and restaurants remain open and most public institutions are still functioning.

Coronavirus is testing Georgian libertarianism to the limit, by Ivo Vock

Overnight, the Caucasus country has been transformed from one of Europe’s most open states to among its most reclusive. 

The virus will change the British state in ten crucial ways, by Jonathan Powell

Certain aspects of the way our government works will change fundamentally, and not all for the better. 

 The crisis has turbocharged China’s intrusive state capitalism, by Jacob Dreyer

China’s outbreak has been brought under control thanks to an Orwellian system of high-tech monitoring, from personal QR codes to a flourishing of new apps that facilitate lives lived in locked apartments.

The crisis has buttressed Italy’s democratic state – for now, by David Adler

Virtually overnight, Italians have shifted from dismissive cynicism of their national government to a blind and trusting devotion – even as the nation shut down and residents were shut in.

Sign up for The New Statesman’s newsletters Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. A handy, three-minute glance at the week ahead in companies, markets, regulation and investment, landing in your inbox every Monday morning. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A newsletter showcasing the finest writing from the ideas section and the NS archive, covering political ideas, philosophy, criticism and intellectual history - sent every Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.

 For all the talk of solidarity, the US government is falling short, by Emily Tamkin

The wealthy and powerful without symptoms are able to get tested; others, even medical professionals, are told there are not enough tests for them.

Content from our partners
How do we secure the hybrid office?
How materials innovation can help achieve net zero and level-up the UK
Fantastic mental well-being strategies and where to find them

As Putin grabs more power, the pressures on the state are mounting, by Felix Light

Many believe Russia’s number of confirmed infections (at the time of writing, 306, with no deaths) is inaccurate – the chronically underfunded state healthcare system is ill-equipped to administer the number of tests needed. 

This article appears in the 25 Mar 2020 issue of the New Statesman, The crisis chancellor