Skip to main content

Legislating for a Pandemic: Exposing the Stateless State

Kirton-Darling, Edward, Carr, Helen, Varnava, Tracey (2020) Legislating for a Pandemic: Exposing the Stateless State. Journal of Law and Society, 47 (S2). S302-S320. ISSN 0263-323X. E-ISSN 1467-6478. (doi:10.1111/jols.12271) (KAR id:83494)

PDF Author's Accepted Manuscript
Language: English
Download (355kB) Preview
[thumbnail of Legislating for a pandemic final v2.pdf]
This file may not be suitable for users of assistive technology.
Request an accessible format
XML Word Processing Document (DOCX) Author's Accepted Manuscript
Language: English

Restricted to Repository staff only
Contact us about this Publication
[thumbnail of Legislating for a pandemic final v2.docx]
Official URL


Initially the subject of widespread consensus, legislative and policy responses to coronavirus are increasingly provoking predictable, albeit understandable, reactions. The right and the left are

united by a concern that essential freedoms are being eroded by a State utilising the opportunity of the pandemic to make a power-grab. Focused on the Coronavirus Act 2020, this article takes a more cautious approach, suggesting instead that the law should be understood not as the product of a hierarchical State but rather as a demonstration of the ‘statelessness’ of the contemporary state. The article examines the Act, with particular focus on open justice, adult social care, and Business Improvement Districts. We argue that reading this unique piece of legislation through the lens of the stateless state reveals the complexities, ambiguities and contestations within contemporary policy making. We suggest that dismissing the Act as unnecessarily authoritarian is an insufficiently nuanced response, and furthermore, that this exploration of the law allows us to develop and complicate scholarship on the stateless state.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1111/jols.12271
Uncontrolled keywords: COVID-19; Coronavirus Act 2020
Subjects: K Law
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > Kent Law School
Depositing User: Sian Robertson
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2020 12:34 UTC
Last Modified: 22 May 2021 23:00 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Kirton-Darling, Edward:
Carr, Helen:
  • Depositors only (login required):


Downloads per month over past year